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May 1 at 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT


Physical Sciences Building Room 120

Beyond Utopia

Film Screening & Talkback

May 1st, 2024
5 pm ET
Physical Sciences Building 120
Reception to follow

Beyond Utopia is an award-winning Oscar shortlisted documentary that tells a gripping story of a South Korean pastor and a network of churches to create a modern-day underground railroad for North Korean refugees. In this unforgettable documentary, we follow families on a treacherous journey to defect from their homeland of North Korea, as the threat of severe punishment and possible execution looms over their passage, revealing a world many have never seen. Following the screening, Pastor Kim will join us to share first-hand stories of how this Christian mission is playing out today and how he literally broke his back in his efforts in leading 1000+ North Korean refugees to freedom.

(Co-Sponsored by Asian American InterVarsity, Bethany Christian Campus Church, Bethel Grove Bible Church, Bread of Life Anglican Church, Cornell International Christian FellowshipCornell Johnson Christian Fellowship, CRU Cornell, Cornell United Religious Work, First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church, Hillside Alliance Church, Trinity Lutheran Church)


Content Warning: This film contains a few brief depictions and references to violence, strong language, and disturbing images.


Audience Award
U.S. Documentary

The Leon Gast Award
Best Feature Documentary

Pastor Seungeun Kim

Pastor Seungeun Kim is a prominent human rights activist, founder, president, and primary spokesperson for Caleb Mission. He passionately serves North Korean defectors and works tirelessly for their rescue and for building their self-reliance. He has also worked to rescue North Korean orphans. He has tried establishing international and domestic laws so the children can be more easily adopted and raised by loving families. Pastor Kim gained international recognition for his modern-day “Underground Railroad” ministry, which has rescued over 1,000 North Korean defectors since 2000.

His activities have been documented in various media outlets and were featured prominently in the recently released documentary Beyond Utopia. The film won the Audience Award at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Pastor Kim’s faith and commitment to social justice for the people of North Korea continue to inspire people worldwide.

The Filmmakers

Madeleine Gavin

Madeleine Gavin
Madeleine Gavin has edited award-winning narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Berlinale, and Cannes, among others. Madeleine directed and edited the Netflix Original Documentary, City of Joy, and she is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Jana Edelbaum

Jana Edelbaum
Emmy Award-winning producer Jana Edelbaum founded the production company Ideal Partners. Her productions include House of Z, Waiting for Hockney, Strange Weather, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, and Idina Menzel: Which Way To The Stage. Current projects include Kim Snyder’s The Librarians and Barry Jenkin’s biopic about Alvin Ailey.


Rachel Cohen

Rachel Cohen
Rachel Cohen is a film producer and head of production at Ideal Partners. Projects include Kim Snyder’s The Librarians and Barry Jenkin’s biopic about Alvin Ailey. Prior to Ideal, Rachel was SVP of development and production at Tribeca Productions, and spent seven years at Artisan Entertainment as SVP of development and acquisitions.


Sue Mi Terry

Sue Mi Terry
Dr. Sue Mi Terry is a leading expert on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia. She served as a senior analyst at the CIA, director of Korea, Japan, and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and National Intelligence Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.


Chesterton House Painting