Shin Su-won, one of the best-known South Korean female filmmakers, has been a regular entry at international film festivals since her autobiographical 2010 debut feature, “Passerby #3.” After world premiering her previous feature, “Madonna,” at Cannes in 2015, Shin returns to Busan with “Glass Garden,” which is he festival’s opening night film.
You went to the Berlin festival with “Pluto” in 2013, then presented “Madonna” in Cannes in 2015. How does it feel to have “Glass Garden” open Busan, in your home country?
I feel great that my film opens the biggest film festival in South Korea. Though I feel [sad] about the BIFF still struggling, I believe [the] films can be appreciated separately [from the politics of the festival]. Of course I am both excited and nervous to show my new film for the first time and it doesn’t really matter which festival it is.
“Glass Garden” seems to be much more fantastical than that of your previous works.
I’ve always talked about those who are left out of the system, and so does “Glass Garden.” With this film, I meant to deliver the same theme in a new style. It is true that the setting and the story of “Glass Garden” are more fantastic than those of “Pluto” or “Madonna,” and that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve always been a daydreamer and I still enjoy it.
You are one of those very few female filmmakers in Korea. What is your opinion about their position in the Korean film industry?
The industry environment has certainly gotten better compared to the past, as there are more women in the industry and they care more about raising their voices as a community. Still, women filmmakers and their works tend to be considered minor. But in the end, I believe all filmmakers should prove themselves through their works, not their [gender].
Some critics say that regular festival invitees only make films to go to fests.
I don’t make films aiming to enter prestigious festivals. Many independent films are not given enough chances to meet the audience at commercial cinemas. In that sense, festivals are important platforms that encourage, finance and showcase small films like mine.