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Soon-Mi Yoo

Soon Mi Yoo
East 120

Born in South Korea, Soon-Mi Yoo studied German Literature at Yonsei University before earning an MFA in Photography at the Massachusetts College of Arts where she is currently a member of the Film/Video faculty. Yoo's films embrace and expand avant-garde and essayistic modes of non-fiction cinema, reopening forgotten, often suppressed, chapters of modern history in order to explore the still unresolved conflicts and collective memories that continue to haunt and define the Korean Peninsula.

1999 - MFA, Photography, Massachusetts College of Art and Design; 1987 - MA, German Literature, Yonsei University, Korea; 1984 - BA, German Literature, Yonsei University, Korea
Professional Experience: 

Selected Exhibitions

  • Harvard Film Archive 
  • 39th Toronto International Film Festival, Wavelengths Program 
  • 67th Locarno International Film Festival Switzerland, Concorso Cineasti del Presente competition 
  • Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal 
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC 
  • 52nd Viennale: Vienna International Film Festival, Austria 
  • 12nd Doclisboa: Documentary International Film Festival, Portugal 
  • 17th BAFICI: Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Argentina 
  • 39th Hong Kong International Film Festival 
  • 36th Cairo International Film Festival, Egypt 
  • Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France 
  • The Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York 
  • Documentary Fortnight: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film


  • 2008 - Where She Is, Hyuna Kim (Seoul: Homi Publishers) 
  • 2004 - War and Women, Hyuna Kim (Seoul: Summerhill Publishers) 
  • 2003 - Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, Coco Fusco, Brian Wallis, ed. (Harry N. Abrams) 
  • Comfort Women Speak, Testimony by Sex Slaves of the Japanese Military, Sangmie 
  • 2000 - Choi Schellstede, ed. (New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers) 
  • Academie Schloss Solitude, “Memory and Migration,” Stuttgart, Germany 


  • The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, Claremont, CA 
  • University of Michigan, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design 
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 
  • California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA 
  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA


  • Asia Culture Center, Kwangju, Korea 
  • New York University, New York, NY 
  • The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 
  • Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 
  • Keene State University, Keene, NH

Selected Awards

Traveling Gods (work-in-progress) 

  • Invited Visiting Scholar, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan, 2016 LEF Moving Image Fund 2017: Pre-Production Grant, 2016 

Songs From the North 

  • 2015 - Special Jury Award, 17th BAFICI: Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Argentina, International Competition
  • 2014 - Culturegest First Feature Award/Best First Feature-Length Film Award 12th Doclisboa, Portugal
  • 2014 - Pardo per la Migliore Opera Prima, Best First Feature “Golden Leopard” Award
  • 2014 - 67th Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland


  • 2011 - Jury Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival
  • 2012 - Marilyn Pappas Faculty Fellowship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • 2006 - Rockefeller Foundation, Media Arts Fellowship
  • 2004 - Woodstock A-I-R Fellowship, The Center for Photography at Woodstock
  • 2001 - MacDowell Colony, Residency Fellowship
  • 2000 - The Corporation of Yaddo, Residency Fellowship
  • 1999 - The American Photography Institute, National Graduate Seminar Fellowship
  • 1997 - Pat Doran Scholarship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • 1997 - The Corcoran Alumni Award for Excellence, Corcoran School of Art
  • 1994 - The National Asian American Telecommunications Association Grant
View Resume: