“Lucky Chan-sil” (Challan)
While indie film “Lucky Chan-sil” may seem like a story about cineastes, director Kim Cho-hee is dedicating the movie to anyone pursuing a dream.
“There is an underlying pressure in our society that makes people with dreams feel as if they have to achieve something,” the director said during a press conference held Monday to promote the movie. “Small and big twists in life sometimes turn out to be an opportunity leading to a new life. I hope the audience can laugh and cry with Chan-sil through her sorrows in life.”
The main cast members -- actress Kang Mal-geum, who plays Chan-sil, as well as Youn Yuh-jung, Yoon Seung-ah, Kim Young-min and Bae Yoo-ram -- joined director Kim at the press conference.
A female film producer in her 40s, Chan-sil suddenly loses her job and faces the biggest crisis of her life. Having devoted her life to her only dream, film, she finds herself homeless and lonely. But life continues and Chan-sil soldiers on, embracing the hardships and finding the next step.
“Lucky Chan-sil” is the story of this passionate woman and the people around her, all ordinary and struggling with life in their own ways.
Indie film fans have eagerly anticipated the release of the film, which won several awards at local film festivals last year, including three honors for indie films at the 24th Busan International Film Festival. It was also picked as the best picture by the audience at the 45th Seoul Independent Film Festival.
For actress Kang, 41, “Lucky Chan-sil” is her first lead role in a full-length film. She previously appeared in several plays following her 2007 debut with ‘Commedia.” She also appeared in the short film “The Monologue” by director Kim Do-young of “Kim Ji-young, Born 1982.” According to Kang, director Kim Cho-hee contacted her through email with the script for “Lucky Chan-sil” after seeing her in “The Monologue.”
“I tried not to break down every scene and try to be perfect for all of them,” Kang said, explaining how she had approached the role. “I wanted my acting to seem natural for the audience after the film was completed. To do that, I attempted to stay consistent, both physically and mentally, throughout the filming.”
“Lucky Chan-sil” poster (Challan)
Chan-sil lives with an older woman, played by Youn Yuh-jung, whom she teaches to read and write. Although not related by blood, the two become like family. Actor Kim Young-min plays a ghost claiming to be the legendary Hong Kong actor-singer Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing. Yoon Seung-ah, returning to the big screen for the first time in three years, plays an untalented actress with a sweet personality, while actor Bae Yu-ram plays the role of Young, Chan-sil’s colleague and crush.
Actress Youn said she was proud of Kim and her film for the unique approach the director took.
“From what I knew, indie films tend to expose the dark and dirty side of society and I didn’t like that,” Youn said. “I was amused at how the film told the story in a humorous way, even though it is not a comedy flick. I hope there can be more indie cinema like this in the future and that this film (“Lucky Chan-sil”) can become a chance for like-minded people to produce more low-budget films together.”
Director Kim, who spent 7 1/2 years as a film producer, set out on a new career as a director in 2011 with her first short film, “The Winter Pianist.” She started to gain recognition in 2016 with the 29-minute “Ladies of the Forest,” also starring Youn.
“Lucky Chan-sil” will open in local theaters March 5.
By Choi Ji-won (email@example.com