Haenyeo refers to the women free-divers of Jeju Island, South Korea who for centuries have collected sea food without the use of scuba equipment. This short documentary provides a portrait of Chuwar Park, a still active and unbelievably vibrant 82-year-old diver. Examining her daily routine as well as her past, Park sheds light on this unique matriarchal culture that has changed little since the 19th century. By Alex Igidbashian, Daye Jeong and Kevin Sawicki, USA/S. Korea
Alex Igidbashian: Photographer, Camera Op, Boom Op, Sound Mixer, Director, Producer
Alex Vartan Igidbashian is a native of Philadephia who has been working in the photography and video medium since his early teens. Alex’s passion for taking pictures met his love for writing when he decided to study Film / Video and Screenwriting at Drexel University.
Alex’s specialties during film production include directing, camera operating, but most specifically, production sound. Along with his work as a producer, and director, Alex will be responsible for all of the production sound during the filming of Haenyeo. Despite his love of images, he maintains that sound is actually more important than visuals in terms of immersing the audience in the world of the film. Alex is pursuing subsequent funding for future trips to the island to make a feature length documentary.
Kevin Sawicki: Cinematographer, DP, Producer, Director
Kevin Sawicki is a filmmaker based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is currently as senior at Drexel University and is focusing his studies on cinematography and documentary filmmaking. His mother is Korean, and father is American. Throughout the 70s and 80s, his parents frequented Jeju-do and often interacted with the Haenyeo. Growing up, Kevin saw pictures and was told stories about the Haenyeo divers. When he was 16, his father passed down his hobby of scuba diving and took him to get his dive certification. After taking his first breath underwater, Kevin knew he wanted to dive for the rest of his life. Kevin is also pursuing funding and shooting for a subsequent film to complete a feature length film.