Little Pyongyang

Platform: The Guardian, Amazon Prime, Docsville, Boiler Room 4:3
Format: Documentary, 24’
Producer: Matt Diegan
Director: Roxy Rezvany

A tale of one North Korean’s struggle to leave behind the homeland, Joong-wha Choi, a former soldier in the DPRK, lives today with his wife and kids in a sleepy London suburb. Despite enjoying the new found comforts of his British life, and being emancipated from the pressures of the North Korean state, his dilemma lies in a desire to return to the land that betrayed him, but is undoubtedly his true home. The film tracks his reflections on both why he left North Korea and the state of his day to day life over the course of several months, in what is ultimately a portrait of loss, longing, and the complexities of healing from trauma.

With exclusive access to one of the world’s largest community on North Korean defectors, Joong-wha’s story extends to the community he lives alongside. At a time when the world is wrapped up in the exchanges of pomp and bravado between two theatrical but powerful world leaders, we recognise the North Korean defectors on Britain’s doorstep, and follow Joong-wha as he considers his mission to seek change for North Korea.


Winner: 'Best Documentary', The Smalls Film Festival 2018
Winner: Best Director, UnderWire Festival 2018
Nominated: ‘Short Film Award’, One World Media Awards 2019
Nominated: 'Next: WAVE Award', CPH:DOX 2018
Nominated: Best Cinematography, UnderWire Festival 2018
World Premiere: CPH:DOX 2018
Official Selection: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018
Official Selection: Aesthetica 2018
Official Selection: The Smalls Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Athens International Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Underwire Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: Hawaii International Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: San Francisco Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: London Migration Film Festival 2018
Official Selection: London Short Film Festival 2019

"Little Pyongyang creates the perfect balance between insight and entertainment, making for a film that feels as important as it is captivating... ... A film full of incredible insight & outstanding production - such an impressive documentary." - Rob Munday, Short Of The Week

"A tender and stylised documentary offering a revealing panorama of the experience of a refugee" - It's Nice That

"Rezvany’s directorial debut captures North Korean life in a way that seems at odds with the melodrama in the media." - Culture Trip

"The result is a quietly moving, nuanced study on the effects of loss, longing and emotional trauma." - Huck Magazine

“Compelling viewing“ - Wired Magazine, Best Documentaries You Can Stream Now


Producer: Matt Diegan
Director: Roxy Rezvany
Commissioned by: The Guardian & Docsville
Additional Funding & Support: Lush, The Fledgling Film Fund, The British Council, Just So.
Executive Producers: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton, Nick Fraser, Lawrence Elman
Director of Photography: Beatriz Sastre
Editor: Christian Sandino-Taylor
Composer: Matt Huxley
Colourist: Tim Smith (Electric Theatre Collective)
Production Designer: Kat Hawker
Set Designer: Louis Gibson
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