During the 28th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), esteemed documentarian Jung Yoon Suk premiered his latest work “Dear Jinri.” This documentary is centered around the final interview of the renowned K-pop singer Choi Jinri, known by her stage name SULLI, which took place shortly before her tragic passing in 2019.

‘Dear Jinri’ Director Discusses Working With SULLI

Originally titled “Persona: SULLI”, the production faced a halt when the singer passed away in the midst of filming. “Dear Jinri” is one part of this project, the other being a short film titled “4: Clean Island.”

Following the documentary’s screening at BIFF, director Jung engaged in an interactive session with the audience, sharing insights into the behind-the-scenes persona of Sulli.

Jung discussed his approach to the documentary, emphasizing his intention to delve into the protagonist’s thoughts and actions. He described Sulli as highly perceptive of the creative process, highlighting her exceptional listening skills.

“When I gave an opinion as a director, instead of making personal arguments as an actor, she would genuinely listen to my perspective,” Jung said.

In his reflections on the departed idol/actress, Jung expressed warmth and remembered her as someone with an accommodating personality, which was in contrast to the public’s often skewed perception of her character.

She always tried to embrace the thoughts of others,” Jung said. “I felt that this side of her was in contrast with the image of Sulli that the public knew. I realized, ‘Aha. So this is who Jinri really is.’

Moreover, the director offered a theory regarding the stark contrast between Sulli’s public image and her real-life personality. In his view, entertainment content generally omits most of the recorded footage of an individual, selectively showcasing “key” moments during post-production to adhere to time constraints. However, the process often leads to the loss of many authentic moments that could convey the true identity of the person on screen.

Sulli’s journey in the entertainment industry began as a child actor in 2005, and she later debuted as a member of the girl group f(x) in 2009. After leaving the group in 2015, she continued to thrive as an actress until her untimely passing.

“Dear Jinri” premiered at the 28th Busan International Film Festival. The event will be held at the Busan Cinema Center in Busan, South Korea from October 4 to 13, 2023.