Before screening her documentary “K-Girls,” student filmmaker Lisa Gross ’04 chatted briefly with scene film critic Paula Brady to talk about her project and what she discovered through the filmmaking process.
scene: What do you hope to convey, through “K-Girls,” your documentary study of young Korean women?
Lisa Gross ’04: I wanted to explore what it’s like for those living in this very rapidly changing society — especially where the role of women is rapidly changing. I was also interested in contemporary culture outside the [United States].
scene: How did you fund the project?
Gross: I received a Ruskee Fellowship, which I still have, and am planning to go to India in the spring or next summer. I got the equipment though the Yale Mobile Media Mix program, which is a loan program for students going abroad. Otherwise, in Korea, I was self-funded.
scene: How connected did you feel about this project? And did you connect with the girls?
Gross: Because my mother’s Korean, I ended up having a much closer connection to the project in Korea. And because my parents have lived there for two years, I saw all these girls my age walking around and wondered what their lives were like. This was my way of being able to find out what they were thinking and what their lives were like, and how different they were from their mothers.
scene: Did you find their concerns to be similar to those of American teenagers?
Gross: They’re dealing with issues that I feel like girls here also deal with, but in different ways. The pressure from the media to look a certain way is now manifesting itself in tons and tons of girls getting plastic surgery.
scene: And finally, how did you originally get interested in film?
Gross: I took a four-week documentary film class over the summer. It was actually unintentional. I was signed up for a fictional film class, but it was cancelled. Anyway, I ended up falling in love with film and the whole medium.