Telling the North Korean Story
A new film made by Sung-Hyung Cho attempts to give outsiders an insight into life in North Korea. The director, who even had to give up her South Korean nationality to shoot the film, spoke to DW about the project.
Busan, South Korea
|Occupation||Director, editor, film maker and professor|
|Known for||Full Metal Village|
Cho Sung-hyung (born 1966) is an award-winning German, film maker, director, editor and professor living and working in Germanywith South Korean roots. She was born in Busan and grew up in Soeul and got German citizenship in 2016 due her documentary My brothers and sisters to the North.
She received a BA in Mass Communications Studies from Yonsei University. In 1990, Cho moved to Marburg in Germany to pursue a MAin art history, media studies and philosophy at the University of Marburg. She continued with post-graduate studies in Theater Film and Media Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurtand a course in electronic images at Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main. Between 2004 and 2007 she had taught Editoring, Documentary and Dramaturgyat SAE Institute and was between 2008 and 2009 an assistant lecturer at the Technical University of Darmstadt; in 2010 as an assistant professor. Since 2011, Cho teaches as regular professor The Art of Film/Movie Making at the University for Visual Arts of Saar in Saarbrücken, Germany. 
Cho was an assistant editor for the German television series Ein Fall für zwei, also working on documentaries and music videos. Her documentary Full Metal Village received the Hessian Film Award in 2006 and the Max Ophüls Prize and was named best documentary by the Guild of German Art House Cinemas in 2007. In 2016, Cho had filmed and was starring in the documentary Meine Brüder und Schwestern in Nordkorea – other international titles: Meine Brüder und Schwestern im Norden , My brothers and sisters to the North . She was the first South Korean director who was allowed to visit North Korea after Korean Warwithout being charged for treason by South Korea, because she has a German passport. She gave up South Korean citizenship and took the German one just for making this documentary and getting a visa and the permission of shooting from North Korea.
Directoring and editoring
- Full Metal Village (2006)
- Home from Home (2009)
- 11 Freundinnen (2011)
- Endstation Der Sehnsuchte (2012)
- Far East Devotion – Love Letters from Pyongyang (2015)
- Two Voices From Korea (2015)
- My brothers and sisters to the North (2016)
- Freudenhaus (2001)
- Verirrte Eskimos (2003)
- Parzifal in Isfahan (2004)
- 2006: Schleswig-Holstein Film Award for Full Metal Village
- 2006: Hessian Film Award for Full Metal Village
- 2007: Max Ophüls Award for Full Metal Village as first documentary ever
- 2007: Guild of German Art House Cinemas Award for Full Metal Village
- 2007: Award for advancing of upcoming artists of the DEFA Foundation
- 2007 Golden Eye Award Zurich Film Festival for Full Metal Village
- “CHO Sung-hyung”. Korean Film Council.