Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Hyonok Kim

By Catherine Woo

Welcome to NYWIFT, Hyonok Kim!

Hyonok is an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer who creates innovative and experimental film. Hyonok was born in South Korea, then studied film and dance in Paris and New York. Rather than dialogue, her films use dance to express interactions, bringing the emotional experience to the viewer. She choreographed and directed 15 dance films including Weeping Water, For Sunrise, Dance with Horses, Ode on a Korean Urn, Isle of Waiting Souls, Passion & Rebirth, South Sea to Isang Yun and L’Heure de Coq. Her films were shown at international film festivals and broadcasted in France, Germany, Australia, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and the USA. Now, she lives and works in the Bronx.

Hyonok shares her inspirations in nature, as a choreographer and as a storyteller here!


NYWIFT Member Hyonok Kim


Describe yourself. Give us your elevator pitch!

I am an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer. My goal is pushing boundaries while embracing and elevating the arts. Instead of using dialogue, I create a film with a new language, depending on the union of expressive movements, music, set, atmosphere. I am concerned with conveying profound emotion, to externalize inner experiences through circumstances in a way that could stir similar responses in the viewer.


What brings you to NYWIFT?

I would like to communicate with other filmmakers and collaborate together.



What is the best and worst advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice is to listen yourself. The worst is to eliminate what was already conceived in order to write script.


What attracted you to the role as a choreographer?

It attracts me to express deep inner feeling within a theme by human body.


Hyonok Kim receiving a BRIO Award


How has your experience as a choreographer informed the way that you direct films?

Choreography means writing. It creates a language same as a film creates a language. It attracts me to use choreographic language in cinematic way in film to convey an emotion. Dance and film arts are both the art of time. In that sense, the choreography informs story to tell a story.



So many of your short films center nature and natural elements. How do you explore this theme through your choreography and direction?

I believe that nature has a spiritual power. I would like to capture the spiritual vision and bring [it] to the theatre. For me, location is important. Natural elements also become a set design which set the atmosphere desired for the film and play a role as secondary character. It also gives a challenge to movements.


What’s next for you?  Are there any upcoming projects that you’re excited about?

I have an upcoming project which I plan to shoot in the Southwestern desert in America.


You can find Hyonok at her website, https://www.hyonokimdancearts.com/copy-of-b-i-o.


Catherine Woo

Catherine Woo Catherine Woo is an intern at NYWIFT and an aspiring screenwriter. She will graduate from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Dramatic Writing in 2024. She has interned at Rattlestick Theater and Protozoa Pictures. She has done production photography for PrideFest 2023 at The Tank and Broke People Spring 2023 Play Festival at NYU.

View all posts by Catherine Woo

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