The Lovers and the Despot
Dir: Robert Cannan, Ross Adam
Cast: -
93 mins | In English & Korean with Chinese & English subtitles

They were the Brangelina of ‘70s South Korea—the romance between the debonair film director Shin Sang-ok and glamorous actress Choi Eun-hee took them to the heights of South Korean society. Fame took a toll on their love, but it also attracted unbelievable twists of fate. The two find themselves kidnapped by the North Korean regime, and they are forced to play along with bizarre filmmaking project led by superfan cinephile Kim Jong-il. As they endure torture, imprisonment, and surveillance, their romance is rekindled, and they realize escape is only possible through filmmaking—but the smallest mistake in their plans could cost them their lives.

Director Bio
Robert Cannan has worked in various roles on features, shorts, and music videos, before directing the critically acclaimed feature documentary Three Miles North of Molkom. He is now creatively consulting a fiction remake of the film, slated for 2016.


Ross Adam has worked as a director, photographer, and editor on short films, music videos, art installations, and commercials. His and Cannan’s latest feature, The Lovers and the Despot, participated in Sundance Institute’s Documentary Edit and Story Labs and is world-premiering at this year’s Festival.

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