ReFocus: The Films of Yim Soon-Rye

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Molly Kim/University of Suwon
contact email: 

Call For Papers: ReFocus: The Films of Yim Soon-Rye

Contact email: Molly Kim (

Deadline (abstract): 31 July 2020

Deadline (full manuscript): 15 December 2020


Yim Soon-Rye is one of very few leading women filmmakers in Korea who has written, produced and directed over a dozen films since her debut in 1996. Her most renowned films including Waikiki Brothers (2001), Forever the Moment (2007), South Bound (2012) and The Whistleblower (2014), have been recognized for their explicit interrogation of gender, political and cultural norms. She is also known as an activist for animal rights and a founder of KARA, Korea Animal Rights Advocates, through which she dedicated herself as much as she did to cinema. Her activism is rooted in Little Forest (2018), Sorry, Thank you (Yim’s episode, 2011) and Rolling Home with a Bull (2010) with the thematic focus on the relationship of humanity and nature.  

With her directorial debut, Three Friends (1996), a coming-of-age drama/social satire, Yim quickly arose to become the prominent talent that signaled Korean New Wave Cinema during the 1990s. She was the 6th woman filmmaker in the history of Korean cinema and one of the only two female filmmakers when she started her career. Now, Yim stands as the most prolific woman director in Korea with ten feature films and one documentary.

Korean cinema, though currently signifies a massive success with its recent global recognition at prestigious film awards and festivals, has never been a fair ground for women filmmakers. The total number of women filmmakers stays (as of 2019) at mere 10% which has not been changed for last ten years. Amidst such heavily male dominated Korean cinema and the film industry, Yim has consistently produced critically and commercially influential films that spoke out the issues of women and gender.

We are currently inviting 250-300 word abstracts for essays to be included in ReFocus: The Films of Yim Soon-Rye as part of the University of Edinburgh ReFocus series. The editors are Robert Singer, Stefanie Van de Peer and Gary D. Rhodes. As the very first comprehensive scholarly volume on Yim and her film career, this collection intends to highlight these topics but not limited to:

  • Analyses of individual films

  • Yim Soon-rye and Female authorship

  • The issues of gender, sexuality and feminism in Yim’s films

  • The theme of activism in any work by Yim (shorts and feature films combined)

  • Aesthetics and stylization of Yim’s films

  • Comparative analyses of Yim and other (women) filmmaker(s)

  • Historical and political representations of Yim’s films

  • Class representations of Yim’s films

  • Your own theme

Essays included in the refereed anthology will be approximately from 6,000-8,000 words, referenced in Chicago endnote style. Please send a CV and abstract to by 31 July 2020.

Any questions can be sent to:

Molly H. Kim

Visiting Professor

Department of Theater and Film

The University of Suwon