Smoking Tigers (2023) TriBeCa Film Festival 2023

June 16th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir/Wri: So Young Shelly Yo | Cast: Abin Andrews, Erin Choi, Erin Yoo, Ji-young Yoo, Jun-ho Jeong, Luke Kim, Paul Syre, Phinehas Yoon, Sook Hyung Yang, Teddy Lee

A Korean-American girl’s fall from grace is artfully captured in this mature and memorable high concept drama that won Best Script at Tribeca 2023 for first time feature director So Young Shelly Yo.

Ji-young Yoo won Best Actress for her nuanced portrayal of Hayoung, a teenager struggling to come to terms with her parent’s divorce and its affect on their upmarket lifestyle. A new term at high school among Seoul’s wealthy elite and keeping at eye on her younger sister only adds to the stress. And we feel for her.

Refreshingly Smoking Tigers is not just about poverty, but tells a much more complex and involving often darkly amusing story exploring all the unsettling impacts of divorce, puberty and loss of social status through Hayoung’s tricky journey into adulthood. And the director really knows how to deliver a stunning finale. MT

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature: So Young Shelly Yo for Smoking Tigers, (United States) – World Premiere | TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2023

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