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Korea's First Female Pilot to Fly Onto Silver Screen

2004/05/07 | 353 views | Permalink | Source

By Han Eun-jung
Staff Reporter

Jang Jin-young, one of the stars of last year's hit "Singles", will glide back to the 1920s in goggles and bomber jacket in her upcoming movie "Chongyon (Blue Swallow)", about South Korea's first female pilot, Park Kyong-won.

"She may not have been a hero, but she was a woman with dreams and the drive to accomplish them", Jang said at a news conference in Seoul hotel on Thursday. "I hope I can bring this part of her back to life for audiences".

Born in Taegu in 1901, Park went against all odds and set out for Japan at age 16 with reams of soaring the skies. There she attended pilot school and graduated at the top of her class. In 1930, Park was the only female among the 13 qualified pilots in Japan and the first female pilot in South Korean history.

However, her dreams were short-lived. In August 1933, 32- year-old Park climbed into her plane, the Chongyon, to head home. But she never made it back to her native South Korea as her plane went down just an hour after takeoff. The cause of the accident was never found.

"It's the story of ambitions and passion ? themes that audiences of any time period can relate to", director Yoon Jong-chan said. Yoon previously directed the 2001 thriller "Sorum".

All the aerial shots, which take up about 30 minutes of the film, were completed earlier this month in Los Angeles under the direction of aerial coordinator Kevin La Rosa, who has worked on the sets of such Hollywood blockbusters as "The Fugitive" and "Independence Day". The remainder of the film will be shot in Japan, China and South Korea.

Because there is so little information about the pilot, the movie has added fictional characters and narratives to tell the story of Park's career and love life. "Blue Swallow" also stars Kim Ju-hyuk and Yu-min and is scheduled to open in theaters across the nation early next year.

The cast and director of the upcoming film, 'Chongyon.' They are, from left, Kim Ju-hyuk, Jang Jin-young, director Yoon Jong-chan, Yu Min, and Han Ji-min at a press conference in Seoul, Thursday.

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