Tag Archives: The Defector

The Defector Op Doc on the Front Page of The New York Times

The Defector is on the Front Page of the NYTimes today! An exclusive OpDocs piece was prepared for the NYTimes and it spent the morning claiming the front-and-center space on the front page.
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The feature comes at a time when raising awareness about defectors is crucial. Nine young North Korean defectors were captured in Laos last week and repatriated back to North Korea through China. They range in age from 14 to 22, and are said to be orphaned Kotjebi. They are among tens of thousands of defectors living in hiding in Asia who try to escape via China and Laos. Considering the grave risks that they took to escape North Korea, it’s troubling that China and Laos, among other nations, do not offer them protection.
The Defector will be having its UK premiere at the upcoming Sheffield Doc/Fest and is nominated for the Sheffield Innovation Award.

Former North Korean spy calls the country a cult

A former North Korean spy is speaking out about the regime, and the control Kim Jong-un is trying to hold over their military. Kim Hyun-hee was plucked from her schoolyard in North Korea, and taken to a private military school where she was trained to be a spy. In 1987 she played a key role in the bombing of an aircraft en route to Seoul, killing all 115 passengers.

Originally sentenced to death, the South Korean government pardoned her because she was brainwashed. 


Kim Hyun-hee, center, with South Korean investigators Dec. 15, 1987. SUNKYU IM/AFP/Getty Images

In her public statement to Australia’s ABC television, she claims that the North Korea is “not a state, it’s a cult.” It was not until she was in South Korea, where she currently lives, that she realized she had been lied to. 

It is a common story from defectors, who must face the realization that life is not what they were told in North Korea. Everything they have learned growing up, what their parents and teachers taught them, must all be broken down. To experience what it takes to escape North Korea, visit The Defector Interactive at experience.thedefectormovie.com.

Read Kim Hyun-hee’s full story in the National Post.


Film Review: The Defector in NKNews.org

“A unique documentary with thoughtful production and a striking visual identity, The Defector is a must-see for anyone interested in North Korean refugees, human rights or, simply in the difficulties of real human lives.”

Read the full review by Nicolle Loughlin here

Announcing The Defector’s Canadian Premiere at HotDocs!


We are very excited to announce that The Defector will officially be having its Canadian Premiere at Canada’s International Documentary Film Festival – Hot Docs – this April!

We invite you to attend one of our three screenings:

Sat, Apr 27 - 9:00 PM at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 4

Mon, Apr 29 - 3:30 PM at Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 5

Sat, May 4 - 6:30 PM at The Regent

For all of our Toronto supporters who missed the world premieres, this is your chance to see the film on the big screen! We could not be more excited to have our Canadian premiere in our home city.

Tell your friends!

For tickets and more information about screenings and the amazing line-up of films at this year’s festival, visit hotdocs.ca



CSC Award Nomination Plus World Festival Invites – Including SXSW!


The Defector has been selected into a number of festivals around the world including the SXSW Interactive Festival, March 8th to 12th in Austin, Texas. We’ll be there with Jam3 to give the inside scoop on how we built The Defector Interactive successfully from a feature documentary film project on our panel “10 Tips from Kim Jong-Il About Interactive Docs”. 


We’re also delighted to announce that our DP - Stephen Chung - has been nominated for Best Documentary Cinematography for the 56th Annual Canadian Society of Cinematographers’ Awards for his amazing work on The Defector: Escape from North Korea. Please join us in congratulating him. We’ll keep you posted as the drum rolls…  

Up-coming International Festival Premiers for The Defector:

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival


Greece, March 15th – 24th, 2013


United States, March 23rd, 2013

Documentary Edge Film Festival


New Zealand, April 11th – 21st, Aukland;

May 9th – 19th, Wellington

Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival


Qatar, April 18th – 21st, 2013

The Defector Interactive **OFFICIAL LAUNCH** #EscapeNorthKorea

The Toronto-based multiplatform team Fathom Film Group, in collaboration with digital production and design agency Jam3, are pleased to announce the launch of THE DEFECTOR: ESCAPE FROM NORTH KOREA INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE


This online web doc takes users inside the gripping reality of living in North Korea today, and allows you to experience first-hand the brave attempts of those trying to escape.

The online experience is being launched as a complement for the upcoming film THE DEFECTOR: ESCAPE FROM NORTH KOREA, and is based on the true stories of six North Korean defectors.

Find out if you have what it takes to #EscapeNorthKorea and experience the Interactive today!



The Defector Interactive is Here!

It is SUPER exciting to share THE DEFECTOR INTERACTIVE with you! We want all friends and supports to have the chance to experience the web-doc before the official launch next week.

We promise you have never seen anything like this before! Take the haunting interactive journey through the eyes of a woman desperately attempting to escape North Korea. 

Experience the Interactive and see if you have what it takes to #EscapeNorthKorea!

And tell your friends about it – post it, share it, tweet it! The support we have received from everyone has made this project a reality, and we can never thank you enough.


Are You Ready to #EscapeNorthKorea

The Defector Interactive is almost ready! As friends of The Defector you will have the chance to choose your own path out of North Korea TOMORROW! Four days before the *Offical Launch* next week!

Check out the final sneak peek of the animated web-doc and get ready for tomorrow!

Will you have what it takes?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzlrcXTbrn0?wmode=transparent]