Published on April 2nd, 2018 | by Biz Books

2018 Storyhive Spotlight: Gajok is pleased to showcase a few of the local creators for this round of the 2018 Storyhive Digital Shorts Edition.

In this interview, we talked to Lee Shorten about Gajok.


Can you start by telling us about you and your film?

I’m Lee Shorten, an Asian adoptee, reformed lawyer, actor and the writer of Gajok. Gajok is about Eric, an Asian adoptee who is looking to start a family of his own though his partner, Steph, would prefer to adopt. This causes Eric to do some soul searching. To help him, Steph manages to track down Eric’s biological mother and the film follows Eric as he weighs the consequences of meeting her.

Who else is involved in this project?

I’m pleased to say we’ve assembled a diverse team, both in front of and behind the camera. Mayumi Yoshida (Man in the High Castle and Akashi) and Nach Dudsdeemaytha (Inconceivable and Cypher) are co directing. Phil Planta (Akashi and Gemini) is producing. Angelica Perez Anzures (Luchador) is our DP. Andrea Hermary (Inconceivable) is editing. Myself, Sam Hum (The Flash), Albert Nicholas (The 100) and Mayumi are co starring.

What would making this film mean to you?

As an Asian adoptee, this film definitely has a strong personal element. After the Korean war, hundreds of thousands of Korean children were put up for adoption and over the years I’ve been fortunate to have met a lot of them. Every one of them has a story. Some of them really struggled with depression, with ideas of family and identity, many felt lost or like something was missing. Despite the fact that almost off all them were raised by loving, generous families there was always a sense of disconnect, sometimes cultural, sometimes personal. Many have spent considerable time and effort looking for their biological families, some have succeeded and some haven’t. And so, I wanted to tell this story for all of them, I guess you could say it’s my love letter to the community. It isn’t a clean or easy look at adoption, but rather an exploration of their stories.



What film-related books or authors have been influential in your career so far?

I’m a huge film and book nerd. Haha. I actually majored in film studies as an undergrad. Um, I’ve always been about autobiographies and collected interviews. The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing by Michael Ondaatje. David Fincher Interviews by Laurence E. Knapp. Stanley Kubrick Interviews by Gene Phillips. Something Like An Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa. Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective by Tom Shone. God, the list goes on, I could be here all day.

Where can we find out more about your film?

Aside from our Storyhive page… You can check us out on Twitter @gajokfilm and Instagram @gajokfilm. You can always follow me @lcshorten too, I’ll be shamelessly promoting the film as well. ________________________________

Thanks to Lee Shorten for speaking with us!

For more information about this project and the other Storyhive digital short entries, please visit

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