Since getting her start at the now-legendary production company Shincine in 1989, Jeong has made a name for herself as one of Korea’s top copywriters (she has been called “the genius of Korean film advertising”), a prolific writer on and off the Web and a founding member of the production company Cineworld.
Now, two years after launching shingle Achim Pictures, Jeong is being recognized as an important new producer in her own right. After releasing her first two features, “Love Phobia” and the word-of-mouth hit “Radio Star,” she was named Woman Filmmaker of the Year in 2006 by the Women in Film network.
“I feel strongly that our films should communicate with the audience. Even apart from issues of box office success, we shouldn’t be making films only for ourselves,” she says.
Jeong has two more films hitting theaters this fall. “Shadows in the Palace,” which premiered in competition at the San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival, is a murder mystery set within the female quarters of a Joseon dynasty-era palace. Directed by debut helmer Kim Mi-jung with an ensemble female cast, the lavish and bloody costume pic opens in Korea on Oct. 18 and ranks as one of the more internationally marketable Korean films of the fall season.
Meanwhile, “The Happy Life” by Lee Joon-ik, director of megahit “King and the Clown,” received a Chuseok holiday-season release on Sept. 12. The story of three middle-aged men who join a rock band, the film was financed by CJ Entertainment and warmly received by local viewers.
For 2008, Achim Pictures will act as co-producer on a much-larger-budgeted film by Lee, the ambitious 1970s-set “Nim-eun Meongose.” Picked up by Showbox, pic centers on a woman who travels to Vietnam as an army entertainer in the hopes of meeting her enlisted husband.
“This film will present the Vietnam War in an entirely new light, from a woman’s perspective,” says Jeong. “I think it will be an exciting work for both local and international audiences.”