Sunday, 13th November, 18:00, Belgrade Youth Centre, Belgrade
Monday, 14th November, 20:00, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad
Monday, 14
th November, 19:00, Niš Cultural Centre, Niš

The Lovers and the Despot (doc.)

Director: Rob Cannan, Ross Adam
Country: UK
Year: 2016
Runtime: 98’
Language: Korean, Japanese, English
Subtitle: Serbian, English
Cast: Shin Sang-ok, Choi Eun-hee
Screenplay: Rob Cannan, Ross Adam
Producer: Natasha Dack
Director of Photography: Yoonseuk Back, Park Byung Kyu, Ric Clark, Will Edwards, Jon Sayers
Editing: Jim Hession
Music: Nathan Halpern
Production name: Hellflower, Tigerlily
Distribution: Five Stars Film Distribution /
Film website:


The Lovers and the Despot tells the story of young, ambitious South Korean filmmaker Shin Sang-ok and actress Choi Eun-hee, who met and fell in love in 1950s post-war Korea. In the 70s, after reaching the top of Korean society following a string of successful films, Choi was kidnapped in Hong Kong by North Korean agents and taken to meet infamous dictator Kim Jong-il. While searching for Choi, Shin also was kidnapped, and following five years of imprisonment, the couple was reunited by the movie-obsessed Kim, who declared them his personal filmmakers. Choi and Shin planned their escape, but not before producing 17 feature films for the dictator and gaining his trust in the process.

Director’s biography
Rob Cannan has worked in various roles on features, shorts and music videos, including as Nick Broomfield’s AP on the docu-drama Ghosts (Sundance 2007), before directing the critically acclaimed feature documentary Three Miles North of Molkom. It won an audience award and was nominated for Best Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards. It was released in the U.S. by IFC/Sundance. Rob is now consulting on a fiction remake of the film slated for 2016.

Ross Adam has worked as a director, cameraman and editor on short films, music videos, art installations, commercials and corporate videos and is a talented photographer. Rob and Ross have worked together on many short-form projects. Their first feature-length collaboration The Lovers and the Despot premiered in the World Documentary Competition at Sundance 2016.

Festivals and awards
World Premiere, Sundance Film Festival, 2016
Berlin International Film Festival, 2016
Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2016
Seattle International Film Festival, 2016
Cleveland International Film Festival, 2016

Critic’s Word
This real-life romantic thriller/escape saga still boasts enough fascinating details and angles to qualify as essential stranger-than-fiction viewing.
Justin Chang, Variety

Perhaps the all-time strangest, most outlandish true-life story connected to the cinema…
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

As both an utterly mad true story and as a document of the boundless reach of the cinema across borders and cultures and even ideologies, The Lovers and the Despot is wild, valuable viewing for all.
Dominick Mayer, Consequence of Sound

Five Stars Film Distribution