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GOOK Nabs NEXT Audience Award at Sundance

Feb 06, 2017
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
  • View2095
Justin CHON’s Film Focuses on 1992 LA Riots

Hollywood actor and director Justin CHON, of Korean descent, bowed his new film Gook at the Sundance Film Festival last month, where it won the NEXT Audience Award. The film screened in the NEXT section, which focuses on “Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling”.

Gook stars CHON as a young Korean-American man who runs a shoe store with his brother in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. The black-and-white film takes place during the LA Riots of 1992. The pair befriend a young African-American girl who helps them around the store. Together, they must help each other and defend the store when riots break out following the Rodney King verdict.

Prior to his award-winning drama, CHON has appeared in several notable films, including the Twilight franchise. More recently, he was the lead in the Benson LEE-directed film Seoul Searching (2015), which also debuted in Sundance, and the Netflix TV show Dramaworld. CHON’s directorial debut was the comedy Man Up in 2015. CHON made Gook as a way of commemorating the 25th anniversary of the LA Riots. 

CHON was born to Korean parents in America and later spent time in Korea during a study abroad program, attending Yonsei University in Seoul.
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