Liann Kaye's Short Film "SEOUL SWITCH" Starring Kevin Woo Receives Acclaim and Awards

Still Cr. Cinematographer - Jesse Sanchez-Strauss

 "Seoul Switch," the enchanting, hilarious, and thoughtful short film directed by acclaimed AAPI filmmaker Liann Kaye, continues to captivate audiences and earn recognition at prestigious film festivals worldwide. Starring K-pop sensation Kevin Woo (U-KISS, KPOP The Musical), the short tackles the Asian American identity, blending whimsy with social commentary on growing up in America seeing only White faces on screen and White voices on the radio, and the juxtaposition with the popularity of K-pop today.

Playing with the familiar switch story a la The Parent Trap, the incredibly fun “Seoul Switch” follows an awkward Korean American high school student (Kevin Woo) who accidentally meets an exhausted K-pop idol (also Kevin Woo) hoping to get out of the grind of fame. The two decide to switch places, but first they must learn to look, act, be like one another. Alongside the catchy-as-hell original music by celebrated musician Charlene Kaye and gorgeous cinematography by Jesse Sanchez-Strauss, “Seoul Switch” inspires viewers to find their voice, all while exploring issues of race, identity, masculinity, and sex appeal through humor.

As a child, Kaye's affinity for storytelling was evident, starting with her experiments in editing using iMovie 2007 and eventually crafting videos for various purposes, including campaign videos for student government candidates. Years later, she made the bold decision to shift from telling other people's stories to telling her own.

Similarly, Kevin Woo's journey to stardom was fueled by a passion for music and a desire to break barriers. Hailing from Danville, California, Kevin's love for K-pop ignited a fire within him, even in an environment where the prospect of success for Asian artists seemed bleak.

The film has garnered acclaim and awards at esteemed festivals, including:

  • DisOrient Film Festival (3/9/24): WINNER - Best Narrative Short
  • Incheon International Short Film Festival (4/3/24): WINNER - Best Short Film
  • Hollywood Shortsfest (4/21/24): WINNER - Best Actor & Best Editing
  • Short Shorts Asia (6/7/24): Academy Award Qualifying - Biggest Short Film Festival in Asia
  • Bentonville Film Festival (6/12/24): Curated by Geena Davis

Liann Kaye brings her unique vision and storytelling prowess to "Seoul Switch." Her previous work includes the award-winning mini-series "The Blessing," which premiered at festivals across the country. The pilot episode was honored with "Best Comedy" at the New York Short Film Festival and received a grant of 20K from the NYC Women’s Fund to serialize it. All six episodes premiered on YouTube this February, propelled by a successful TikTok campaign.

Additionally, Kaye's talent extends to feature films, with her screenplay "Electable" earning recognition from the Athena Lab and the Blacklist x WIF Feature Film Residency, where she had the opportunity to workshop her script with industry veterans Sofia Alvarez ("To All the Boys I've Loved Before") and Kiwi Smith ("Legally Blonde," "10 Things I Hate About You").

Before her success in narrative storytelling, Kaye made her mark as the director of video for Global Citizen's international music festivals, collaborating with iconic artists such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Coldplay, and Metallica. Her directorial skills are further showcased in music videos for notable performers including Carlos Valdes ("The Flash"), Darren Criss ("Glee"), Theo Katzman ("Vulfpeck"), Charlene Kaye ("San Fermin"), and more.

For more information about "Seoul Switch" and Liann Kaye, please visit liannkaye.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Follow "Seoul Switch" on seoulswitch.com and Instagram.

For more about Kevin Woo, visit kevinwooofficial.com and follow him on TikTok, Twitter, and support him on Patreon.

Ciera Reeves

Ciera is the founder of KpopWise. She has been a fan of Korean pop culture since 2005 and writing about it since 2009. Her bias groups are VIXX and OnlyOneOf. She is a 2nd-3rd generation K-pop fan, but she is actively keeping up with the current artists. twitter instagram

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