The Defector wins CSA’s 2014 Diversity Award

The documentary, directed by Ann Shin (pictured), was shot undercover near the Chinese-North Korea border.
12-06-11ann shin

The Defector: Escape from North Korea, a documentary directed, written and produced by Ann Shin, has won the 2014 Diversity Award, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced Tuesday.

“This was a difficult story to tell and we needed a diverse, resourceful team to pull it off,” said Shin in a statement. “Between the film and interactive teams, we had people of Chinese, Korean, German, Philippine, British, Jamaican, Iranian, Pakistani backgrounds – more than 15 different cultural backgrounds I think – which says a lot about the Canadian media industry today. It’s great getting recognition for the talented team that came together to make The Defector.”

The Defector follows the story of a human smuggler named Dragon, who makes living by leading North Korean defectors across borders. The documentary follows Dragon and defectors Sook-Ja and Yong-Hee, who are unexpectedly left stranded in China.

Fathom Film Group and digital agency Jam3 also launched an interactive web doc to complement the feature-length documentary. The web doc guides users through a story that begins in North Korea, and continues onto China and Southeast Asia.

While viewing the web doc, users can also access additional video content, images and insider information through various decision-making points and 360 degree hotspot locations.

The Defector is also up for two 2014 Canadian Screen Awards: best direction in a documentary program, and best documentary program.

Manfred Becker was the supervising editor and co-writer on The Defector. Stephen Chung was director of photography on the documentary.