Chon directed from his own script and stars along David So (YouTube’s DavidSoComedy) and newcomer Simone Baker. The company plans to release the film in theaters in August.
Chon and So portray Korean American brothers who run their late father’s shoe store in a predominantly African American community of Los Angeles. The brothers strike up a unique and unlikely friendship with an 11-year-old African American girl, played by Baker, while racial tensions build to a breaking point as the 1992 Los Angeles riots break out.
Guy Lodge said in his review for Variety that the film was “compellingly immediate.”
“After we saw ‘Gook’ at Sundance, we were truly impressed by the incredible vision Justin projected as well as the caliber of the actor’s performances in creating such an authentic kinship between two brothers and Kamilla (Baker),” says Peter Goldwyn, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films. “The core ethos of our company is to offer original voices and uniquely told stories the opportunity to reach a broad audience and we could not be more proud to bring such a relevant film from an emerging filmmaker into the marketplace.”
The film is produced by James J. Yi and Alex Chi. Executive producers are Jin Lee, Eugene Lee, Pierre Delachaux, Sam Chi, Maurice Chen, Ian Choe, David Joe Kim, Gigi Tsui Kim, Raymond Kou, Nathan Kwong, Kirstin Bianchi, Jason Kim, James Sereno, Edwin Oh, John Nahm, Dennis Kwon, Naja Pham Lockwood, Jason Morales, Alan Pao, Brian Shin, Blaine Vess, Alex Bowles, Rich Young Jr., and Datari Turner.
The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn and Dana O’Keefe of Cinetic, on behalf of the filmmakers.