FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto, November, 2018 – The latest of three WIDC-supported Feature Film Award films to go to camera this year, Women In the Director’s Chair organizers and Gloryous Productions are delighted to announce that principal photography is underway on Queen of the Morning Calm, a powerful feature-length drama about a single mother and her daughter, and their journey to find the true meaning of love. Filming is currently underway in Toronto, Ontario.
Queen of the Morning Calm is the story of a woman’s journey to emancipation. Debra, (Tina Jung, Kim’s Convenience; Suits) is a 29-year-old Korean sex worker who has always lived at the mercy of men. Convinced he is her true love, she holds on to the Sarge (Jesse LaVercombe, Mary Goes Round), a lost puppy-dog and gambler who’s never found his feet in civilian life. The rival for his affection is her quirky tough-as-nails 9-year-old daughter Mona (played by up-and-comer Eponine Lee) who is witness to Debra and the Sarge’s dance of damage. As Debra attempts to break free of the downward spiral they’re in, she is torn between Mona’s need to be with the only father she has known and the new life she is desperately trying to build for them.
The film also stars Shaun Benson (22 Chaser, Never Saw It Coming) as Ian, a flawed but well-meaning friend to Debra and Mona.
This is the debut feature by award-winning director Gloria Ui Young Kim (Flamenco). Based on her screenplay developed through the WIDC Story & Leadership program in collaboration with the Whistler Film Festival, the script also earned Telefilm Canada’s New Voices Award. Produced by Kim‘s own Gloryous Productions and co-produced by Josh Barsky, with executive producers Carol Whiteman (Red Snow; Rustic Oracle; Never Steady Never Still) and Sonya Di Rienzo (Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies), the film is lensed by cinematographer Dmitry Lopatin and production designed by Carly McGrath.
“It’s been so rewarding to see my characters come to life in such a vivid way and to voice my story with such an incredible team,” says director/writer/producer Gloria Ui Young Kim, “Filmmaking is always such a communal effort and I couldn’t have made this happen without the groundswell of support from the industry and from Women In the Director’s Chair. I’m so grateful.”
John Galway, President Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund adds, “our mission at the Harold Greenberg Fund is to support and nurture Canadian storytelling. We are proud to have worked with the WIDC to support exciting new voices and are excited to see Gloria Ui Young Kim’s talents be given this well-deserved opportunity to shine.”
Queen of the Morning Calm is the ninth winner of the WIDC Feature Film Award worth $200,000 in cash and in-kind rentals and services and the third project to be green-lit for production this year. This edition of the award is supported by Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund, Panavision Canada, Sim (formerly Tattersall Sound and Picture), William F. White International Inc., Front Row Insurance, The Research House Clearances Inc., Descriptive Video Works, Line-21 and National Captioning Canada.
About Gloryous Productions
Gloryous Productions is a Toronto-based production company founded by director/writer/producer Gloria Ui Young Kim. Born in Seoul, Korea, Gloria comes from a long line of media makers. With a degree in English Lit at U of T, she worked as a journalist at Maclean’s. She attended Ryerson: Image Arts and the 2008 Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab. Her short film, ROCK GARDEN: A LOVE STORY, described by Atom Egoyan as “absolutely beautiful”, has won numerous prizes including the CBC Canadian Reflections Award. Her CBC film, THE AUCTION, premiered at the 2010 Sprockets TIFF, and won Best Short Film, the Audience Choice Award: 2012 WIFT Short Film Showcase and Children’s Jury Prize: Seattle Film Festival for Children, and is now part of the John VanDuzer Film Collection at TIFF BellLightbox. Her other works have won numerous Golds, at the Bessies, the Marketing Awards, ONE CLUB; her OAC-commissioned work, WHY DO I DANCE…has had over a million views on Youtube; she was in the 2009 TIFF Talent Lab; is a mentor for youth (Female Eye Film Festival, Reel Asian Film Festival, Hot Docs). She directed the Ontario Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary film, LIVE, LOVE, ART…, which won Best Interview Film at PR Daily Video Awards and FLAMENCO for CBC (which won the Corus Fearless Female Filmmaker Award, and was nominated Best Short at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and at KAFFNY). Her script, QUEEN OF THE MORNING CALM (aka DEBRA AND MONA) won the 2016 WIDC Feature Film Award as well as the 2013 Telefilm New Voices Award. The script was also featured in the 2015 Spotlight on Screenwriters and second round short-listed for the Sundance Screenwriters lab. Gloria is an alumna of WIDC programs, CAM, Toronto, Story & Leadership, Whistler.
Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) is an internationally respected Canadian professional development offering, founded in 1997 through an initial collaboration among ACTRA, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Women In Film and Television Vancouver. WIDC is specially designed to advance the skills, careers and fiction screen projects of women directors. With 250 director alumnae across Canada who have directed 100’s of hours of quality screen entertainment, WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada, CBC Films, and appreciates the participation and support of Telus STORYHIVE, ACTRA National, UBCP-ACTRA, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, Creative BC, Independent Production Fund, ACTRA Alberta; in kind support from, Panavision Canada, SIM Group, Poste Moderne, Keslow Camera Film and Digital, William F. White Intl., Walters Lighting & Grip, North Shore Studios, Encore Vancouver, Technicolor Toronto, Skylab Vancouver, White Hart Productions, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, The Research House Clearances Inc, Descriptive Video Works, Front Row Insurance, National Captioning Canada; Line-21, and community collaborations with 1st Weekend Club’s Canada Screens, NFB. WIFT Vancouver’s International Women In Film Festival, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, and the Whistler Film Festival. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.widc.ca | facebook.com/widc.ca | @WIDC_ca | #WIDC