Yi Seung-Jun set to direct the official film of the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018

12 Feb 2018
IOC News

Crossing Beyond or when sport and poetry “break down barriers”

The acclaimed documentary filmmaker, YI Seung-Jun (WIND ON THE MOON, PLANET OF SNAIL) has been appointed the director of "Crossing Beyond", the Official film of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

YI Seung-Jun is an award-winning Korean documentary filmmaker. His feature PLANET OF SNAIL (2011) won multiple international awards, including IDFA's award for Best Feature-Length Documentary and Silverdocs' Sterling award for Best World Feature Documentary. It was also nominated for the Muhr AsiaAfrica Award for best documentary at the 2011 Dubai International Film Festival.

Gary Byung-Seok Kam (BREATHING UNDERWATER, PLANET OF SNAIL) produces, with Kim Ok-Young serving as Executive Producer.

Filming started in December with a crew of seven people and continues during the Games.

A storyline wrapped around select athletes

The film will follow several athletes from diverse backgrounds as they navigate the 2018 Games, preparing themselves physically and mentally to take on the world's leading athletes and represent their home countries to the best of their ability. Each story explores the personal hardships and borders of nationality, race, gender, religion and territory they have overcome to excel, and ultimately succeed when faced with one of the greatest privileges and daunting challenges recognised throughout the world: the Olympic Games.

YI Seung-Jun commented, "It is a great honour to work on a film which will become part of the filmic legacy of the Olympic Movement. Through the powerful stories of the athletes, the film explores an aspiration that we all share, to cross beyond the reality and to move forward to a better future."

Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, adds: "We are delighted to have such a talented director on board. His poetic sensibility immediately spoke to us as we aim for a film that offers a different, artistic perspective of the Games."

Seung-Gyom Nam
"Flowers bloom on every border" by Min-Bok HAM

It all started with a Korean poem written by Min-Bok HAM, "Flower," which expresses the idea that hope comes from all borders, no matter what kind. "I didn't want to make a typical sports film. In the middle of research, we found this poem. "Flowers bloom on every border," this line inspired us instantly and provided a strong perspective" confides YI Seung-Jun.

"Crossing beyond," the film's working title, is about the value of sports and the Olympics. "It is rather easy to focus on the competition and the winnings, but I believe there is something more than that in the Games".

The film is due to be completed by fall 2018.  

Olympic films: a collection of cultural and heritage value

Since the early 20th century, films have been created for every edition of the Olympic Games.  Throughout the decades, accomplished international filmmakers – including Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Leni Riefenstahl, and Carlos Saura, among many others – have been inspired by the Olympic Moment to push the boundaries of the Olympic documentary tradition and to create powerful cinema as part of the Olympic Games' cultural legacy.  The Olympic Film collection is comprised of more than 50 feature-length films that offer a cinematic window onto defining moments in the history of the modern Games. After an extensive high-quality restoration project, the Olympic Film Collection today includes more than 40 feature-length and 60 short films in their original format and language. 

"Crossing beyond" by YI Seung-Jun • 2018 • 90 mn • IOC

Flower (by Min-Bok HAM)

Flowers bloom on every border
I watched the wall 
as I was standing like the border between moonlight and shadow
A flowerpot was on the wall
that makes the border between the outside and the inside of the house
and a chrysanthemum came out between its previous life and next life
How come the flower bloomed on the island of soil in midair?
Is it a device to alert the trespassing of a thief
just like the stones hung on fences to alarm the seaside sentinel?
Or is it an oblique sign of the one who wishes to set the border of meum et tuum against the passers-by?
Or is it the moment when both inside and outside of the house to toast to the scent of the flower in admiration?
When the tear dry out
and I can't stand as a border between the moonlight and the shadow
The flower border will fade away and
all the border between me and the world will collapse.

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