Many of us witness things circling back in our lives and careers. For writer and director Junga Song, she can attest to this perfect timing in finally getting to make a movie about figure skating, a topic she felt
passion for years before. Song changed career paths completely, going from studying Marine Science in South Korea, to film in Canada, eventually graduating from Toronto Film School in 2004.
Throughout her successful career that has spanned over a decade, Song has written a documentary, Hope for Life, short films Love Recipe, Dead Origins, and Reflection, as well as three feature films, Piece of Mind, Artificial Selection, and coming this year…The Petrichor!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in this career?
I moved to Canada from South Korea almost 15 years ago. Then I studied film, starting with short films and made my first feature film in 2008, Piece of Mind. I didn’t make another film for almost 8 years. It
was discouraging after my first film, so I took some time to find my next idea.
Tell us about your new film, The Petrichor? What inspired you to write it?
Every figure skater has such an interesting story because they dedicate their life to it. I tried to make a film about this, but I couldn’t get funding. It kept getting postponed.
Eventually in 2018, I wrote a simple sci-fi story and made an independent film that had a small budget (Artificial Selection). I got to know the actress who was in that movie and found out she was a figure skater. That experience lead me back to making a film about figure skating, The Petrichor.
The Petrichor follows Maya, a former figure skater who, due to personal tragedy, fails her first two attempts at senior international competition. Inspired by her skating idol, Igor Rusky, she decides at the age of thirty, to get back on the ice and pursue her dream of competing once more. As she starts skating again, she is overcome with the painful memories of her past and develops a unique form of
visualization, placing Igor Rusky into her old memories to replace pain with inspiration and giving her a chance to pursue her dreams.
What was it like filming the skating scenes? Did you hit any roadblocks?
It turns out it was very expensive to rent out ice rinks in Canada, about $10-20K. Eventually we found a small private ice rink that we were able to use overnight and cost less. We ended up using special effects in editing to make the rink look bigger.
I had to sacrifice things I wanted sometimes due to constraints. For example, if I wanted to do ten different shots, I wasn’t always able to do that.
What would your advice be to aspiring filmmakers?
Filmmaking is art, but it’s also business. You really have to be crazy about it. If you don’t put everything into the filmmaking, the road will be way more tough. If you’re crazy passion, that's going to make it happen.
I love the people I work with too, and I think that’s important. They respect and love working with a director who has a vision. That support is important. Having people believe in your vision is important.
Are you working on any other projects?
I wrote another sci-fi feature film that I’m very excited about.
Where can we see The Petrichor?
It’s going to be submitted to Cannes Film Festival and all the other major film festivals around the world. I’d love to premiere it at one of those festivals and then we’ll go from there!
You can check the website to see what festivals we’ve been accepted to.
To stay updated with The Petrichor film and read more about Junga Song, visit: https://thepetrichormovie.com