His discovery of French cinema led this young Korean artist to become a director. Through his lens, Jero Yun questions the artificial separation that divides the two Koreas and goes in search of these enemy brothers.
Before leaving his native South Korea, Jero Yun was a shy young man who spent his free time playing video games. At the age of 19, he joined his sister in Italy for a few months and experienced a cultural shock that spurred him to leave Busan and discover the world.
In France, his talent for drawing gained him admission to the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts de Nancy in 2001, although he only spoke a few words of French. After spending time at the École nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs of Paris in the video/photography department, then at the Studio national des arts contemporains du Fresnoy in Tourcoing, where he studied cinematographic writing, Jero Yun began making his own movies, from short films (In the dark, 2008) to documentaries (Madame B, 2016) via fiction (Island, 2010).
As an expat filmmaker, the themes of travel and rootlessness pervade many of Jero Yun's films. Stating that he is more interested in history and background than in the cinematographic form, the South Korean filmmaker travels in person, often alone, to explore the universe of his screenplays. This was the case in 2010 with Island, a film about the Australian desert which he filmed alone, armed with a Super 8 camera.
This tendency takes on a more personal meaning in Looking for North Koreans (2012) and Mrs B., A North Korean Woman (“Madame B Histoire d'une Nord-Coréenne”) (2016). In these two documentaries, he questions both the animosity between the two Koreas, and broader themes, from parenthood to rootlessness, to separation.
A filmmaker fascinated by travel, in both his life and his work, Jero Yun has drawn the attention of international critics since his very first films. Recognised in his home country of South Korea with a Grand Prize from the Asiana International Short Film Festival, he is also celebrated in his adopted country, France, particularly at Cannes, where it has received a Cinéfondation residence for foreign directors and selections by the Quinzaine des réalisateurs and ACID, for The Pig and Madame B respectively.
Thanks to his documentaries, Jero Yun has won numerous prestigious awards, obtaining the jury's special prize at Cinema Planeta, Mexico for Looking for North Koreans.
With Mrs B., A North Korean Woman, he received the award for best documentary at the prestigious Zurich Film Festival in 2016, and has secured his reputation as a socially-engaged filmmaker.
Jero Yun begins his academic training in drawing and painting.
He accompanies his sister, a pianist, to Italy, which ignites in him a love of travel.
He moves to France, where he studies art before specialising in cinema.
His first short film, Red Road, draws the attention of several festivals.
He releases his first documentary, Looking for North Koreans, asserting the social and political dimension of his work.
Mrs. B., a North Korean Woman (“Madame B, histoire d’une Nord-Coréenne”), by Jero Yun, was supported Aide aux cinémas du monde Fund in 2016.
This Institut français programme provides support to foreign film-makers for film projects co-produced with France, whether they be feature-length fiction, animated films or creative documentaries.
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