I Was a Simple Man

Ghosts of the past haunt the Hawaiian countryside...

Project type: Narrative Feature
Project status: Pre-production
Director: Christopher Yogi
Producers: Sarah Kim
Cinematographer: Eun Soo Cho
Sound Designer: Sung Rok Choi
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Like marionettes on a toy stage, the ghosts of Masao’s past haunt the countryside in this tale of a Hawai‘i family facing the imminent death of their eldest.


I Was a Simple Man is a ghost story set in the pastoral countryside of the north shore of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Told in four chapters, it tells the story of an elderly man facing the end of his life, visited by the ghosts of his past. Incorporating Asian & Hawaiian mythology, dream logic, and horror, I Was a Simple Man is a time-shifting story that takes us from the high-rises of contemporary Honolulu to the pre-WWII sugar plantations of O‘ahu and, finally, into the beyond.

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Meet the Filmmakers

Christopher Yogi — Writer/Director

Christopher Makoto Yogi is from Honolulu, Hawai‘i. His debut feature, August at Akiko’s, premiered at Rotterdam in 2018. Richard Brody in The New Yorker called it “transcendently inventive”. It will be released by Factory 25 in 2019. His next feature film in-development, I Was a Simple Man, participated in the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs, IFP Film Week, Film Independent’s Fast Track, Sundance Catalyst, and received a Jerome Foundation grant. Chris works in both fiction and documentary.

Sarah Kim — Producer

Sarah S. Kim is a creative producer originally from Busan, South Korea and based in New York. She produced the feature film August at Akiko’s, which premiered at Rotterdam. She also produced the short South Korean documentary, 9 at 38, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and co-produced the North Korean feature The Other Side of the Mountain that is in the Korean Film Archive. Sarah co-founded the distribution collective Sentient Art Film.

Eunsoo Cho — Cinematographer

Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Eunsoo Cho is the award-winning cinematographer most recently of the Korean commercial feature Hae Uh Hwa, as well as Christopher Makoto Yogi’s independent feature film, August at Akiko’s for which she was awarded a Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. She studied at the Korean National University of Arts and received her M.F.A. at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

Sung Rok Choi — Sound Designer

Born in South Korea, Sung Rok Choi has worked with the top film directors in Korea, including Park Chan-Wook, Hong Sang-Soo, and Bong Joon-Ho. Sung-Rok and Chris have collaborated on numerous projects over the years.

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