Gloria Ui Young Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and is now based in Toronto. Armed with a degree in English Lit from U of T, she worked as a journalist at Maclean’s and attended Ryerson: Image Arts and the 2008 Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab. Her debut feature script, Debra and Mona, won the 2013 Telefilm New Voices Award. She has just been announced winner of the 2016 WIDC Feature Film Award. This award, supported by leading Canadian screen industry organizations, gives $190,000 cash and in-kind towards a film project directed by a Canadian woman.
SDTC: What should we be paying more attention to?
GK: At the most basic level, I think we need to pay attention to our breath. It’s the foundation of everything and I think if we slowed down and centered ourselves, we would be able to find ourselves and meaning and spirituality and love.
What was the last Netflix series you binged on?
Honestly? The Office. I’ve seen it before, but sometimes you just want to watch something that’s funny and likeable.
One new thing you learned this year?
To trust my voice.
What memory brings a smile to your face?
My daughter confiding in me that her new grade 1 teacher smells like heaven. It’s so ridiculously cute and honest and true, and it bespeaks the importance of sense memory.
How do you recharge your batteries?
I meditate and do shamanic journeying. It has seriously changed my life.
Describe the funniest thing you’ve experienced in recent memory.
Reading the hilarious tweets of #TrumpBookReport and #TrumpANovel on Twitter. Ahh to go back to that golden time before he was elected president.
Best advice you’ve been given?
My husband once told me after I had been rejected on a job bid, “Turn and grab.” He used to work in sales with that mentality – that if you’re metaphorically pushed off the edge of a cliff, you don’t let yourself fall but you turn and grab and keep soldiering on. I think when you’re a working artist, that’s so important to keep doing.
What is the best part of being your current age?
I feel really really comfortable in my own skin! And I finally feel beautiful.
What word or phrase should we use more often?
Lovefest. I just think there are so many opportunities for people to love each other.
What’s on your night table?
A bunch of books, sage, my mouthguard, ear plugs, a journal that my daughter started drawing in.
What one item would you be lost without (besides your phone)?
In this weather – a nice moisturizer. I wasn’t born for these frozen climes and neither was my skin.
Weirdest thing in your purse right now?
A clean pair of my daughter’s socks.
What trends are you loving right now?
Diversity. And gender parity in the industry. Although I hope they’re not trends!
Who was your celebrity crush when you were a kid?
What do you love about Toronto?
I love how it’s a collection of villages and there are these special hidden spots on random streets where you can buy the best food or adorable local designer clothes or cool handmade crafts. And how you feel totally safe walking in the streets.
Gloria Ui Young Kim is one of eight Canadian women directors who will attend the 20th anniversary session of the highly acclaimed script development and director mentoring program WIDC: Story & Leadership.