As Korean Cinema is underway at Doris Duke Theatre, the museum is about to welcome two special guests, Korean filmmakers Jeong Ga-young and Jung Eun-kung, for post-screening Q&A’s this week. You may have seen their names when checking out the indie films Hit the Night and Beautiful Vampire.

In Jeong Ga-young’s movie, which flips the romantic comedy narrative on its head and starts screening on Sept. 6, a young female filmmaker interviews a male friend over a long night of drinking under the ruse of being research for her new film. The already frank questions about his sex life and relationships get more and more personal, and soon, her agenda is revealed.

Jung Eun-kung’s movie, which screens Sept. 7 and 8, also has a strong female protagonist. In her Beautiful Vampire, the leading character falls in love with a human—more specifically, her human landlord’s son. Humor and drama ensue, of course.

These two female directors are at the forefront of what we should expect from Korea’s film industry. HoMA had the chance to ask them a few questions about their careers and films. Attend their respective screenings to ask them even more questions!

Jeong Ga-young:

How did you get to where you are now?

I have written novels, composed music, and made movies before, but the reason I continue to make movies is because they receive the best reactions from those around me. I am very satisfied with what I currently do.

Your film challenges the male gaze and has a theme of female empowerment, how does that play into what you want audiences to take away from seeing your film?

I did not really have a separate intent for the audience to take in the theme of the movie in a certain way. I would be glad simply if the audience found the conversation between the characters refreshing and entertaining.

What is it like to be a contemporary female director in a male-dominated industry?

I am still making films within the “indie scene” (not affiliated with a large filming company/making independent films) so I have not yet developed a particular standpoint towards this subject area. However, whether a male or female, I hope screenwriters who have a refreshing and youthful touch continue to emerge and create stories that have their own different charm from those of existing Korean movies. I believe that these changes are gradually beginning to show.

Jung Eun-kung:

How did you get to where you are now?

Since I can remember, I was regaled by stories—whether it is watching movies, reading books, performing in a play or producing one with my siblings for my parents. However, I didn’t have the guts to pursue the career of ‘making stories’ for a long time. I ended up working in the entertainment industry in a position where I worked with storytellers instead of being one myself. After a while, there came the moment where I had reached my limit of hesitation and had to admit that I do want to write and direct. So, that’s how I got to where I am now.

What inspired the choice to have Ran be a vampire?

Actually, ‘vampire’ came first and then ‘Ran’. My producer first reached me with an idea involving ‘a male vampire make-up artist.’ I thought it was an interesting try to combine ‘make-up’ and ‘vampire’ since vampires, in my mind, possess certain aesthetic qualities. What I wanted to add to the story was how living as a vampire could resonate with being an outsider… That’s how I created the character ‘Ran.’ 

What is your favorite vampire movie? Why?

Let the Right One In, directed by Tomas Alfredson, for so many reasons: the characters are interesting, the relationships between the characters are intriguing, cinematography and the whole production design are arresting and so on.