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World Premiere

Director: Kary Hyunjeong Rho

United States, Hong Kong, Korea, 2024, 10 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2024


Genres:Music, Experimental

Cast:Alexis Barbosa, Sunghyun Ahn(A.S.H.), Savina Drones, Alison Ishtar, Mari Mantela, Marcelline Taylor, Bruna Spoto, Aico Simon, Younkyung Antigone Hong, Tora Kim, Renato Ferreira Leitão Azevedo, Sebastian Lopera, Nancy Ting, Petr Shchepilov, Yuanxin Xie

Crew:Writer: Kary H. Sarrey, Producers: Kary H. Sarrey, Kara Chavi. DP / Editor: Kary H. Sarrey; Music: Myung Je Woo, Sunje Woo; Sound Mixer: Jaehyun Park


"20" is a captivating film that explores the enchanting world of lucid dreams, unraveling tales of hope, love, and despair amidst serene landscapes where shadows dance gracefully. Against the backdrop of insomnia, the film seamlessly blends a sleepless night's story with a multilingual poem.

As the mind rebels against the ticking clock, dreams find refuge in the beauty of languages, creating a space where time loses control. The sleepless mind transforms into a canvas for lucid dreams, taking viewers on a journey through vivid visions and a whirlwind of emotions.

At its core, the narrative features a goldfish navigating inked oceans in a dream, accompanied by a lingering melody that echoes a silent love's profound ache.

The film's story delves into the depths where darkness weaves intricate patterns, and midnight inks spread like leaves. "20" invites audiences on a cinematic journey, encouraging reflection on subconscious mysteries. Here, the boundaries between hope and despair, love and loss, flow like the midnight sea, elusive as the specters gracefully dancing in quiet realms where shadows come to life.


About the director

Currently based in Korea and New York, Kary Hyunjeong Rho (aka Kary H. Sarrey) is deeply immersed in the world of filmmaking. She wears multiple hats as a producer, director, and editor, contributing her expertise across feature films, television, and music videos. Noteworthy among her recent projects are '20', 'I Cross the Sea with You', 'Insomnia 4AM', and 'Song of the Same Night'. Her avant-garde films have earned consecutive invitations to the Brooklyn Film Festival and have been showcased in esteemed events like the 75th Salerno International Film Festival in Italy, Jeonju International Film Festival in Korea, Cannes International Film Festival in France, New York International Film Festival, and Hong Kong International Film Festival, totaling 39 international selections. Kary has garnered an impressive tally of over 25 awards and 11 nominations, including recognitions such as Best Female Director, Best Editor and Best Picture.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

In creating "20," my goal was to take viewers on a cinematic journey beyond reality, immersing them in the enchanting realm of lucid dreams. The film unfolds a poetic narrative woven with threads of hope, love, and despair against serene landscapes where shadows dance gracefully.

Inspired by the intricate and surreal nature of dreams, I aimed to explore the profound emotions surfacing during sleepless nights, navigating the delicate balance between consciousness and the ethereal landscapes of the mind.

The inclusion of a multilingual poem, narrated in 13 languages, enriches the film's universal essence, connecting viewers with the emotional depth of the story on a global scale. The rhythmic ticking of the clock symbolizes resistance, as the mind rebels and finds solace in the artistic expressions of visual and auditory languages.

The central metaphor of a goldfish navigating inked oceans in the midnight sea evokes a longing for a silent love beyond words, amplified by an accompanying melody that lingers in the emotional landscape.

Ironically, when languages create harmonic chaos, a sense of suffocation emerges. Yet, the entrance of sign languages brings subtle relief, adding an ironic twist to the film's exploration of communication.

As the narrative delves into the depths where darkness weaves intricate patterns and midnight inks spread like ebon leaves, "20" is more than a film—it's an invitation to embark on a cinematic odyssey, encouraging contemplation of subconscious mysteries. Here, the boundaries between hope and despair, love and loss intentionally blur, mirroring the fluidity of the midnight sea and the elusive dance of specters in the quiet realms where shadows come to life.

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