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Apple Original Films Announces New Untitled Documentary Film Featuring the Legendary ‘haenyeo’ of South Korea



Apple Original Films announced today a new untitled documentary film from Extracurricular and A24, featuring the story of the legendary ‘haenyeo’ of South Korea’s Jeju Island. The film is directed by Peabody Award nominee Sue Kim (“The Speed Cubers“), and is the first project from the Apple TV+.

The film tells the story of “Korea’s mermaids,” elderly free divers whose work catching seafood off the coast of Jeju Island has supported their community for generations. Matriarchs, breadwinners and rowdy grandmas, the haenyeo’s numbers have dwindled in the past few decades. But now their youngest descendants are helping to revive the revered and often dangerous lifestyle of their ancestors, while fighting to protect the ocean from looming environmental threat.

The co-production hails from Extracurricular, the production company of women’s rights activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, partnering with Apple TV+ to create original programming, and A24, who is also collaborating with Apple on the upcoming highly anticipated Steve Martin documentary.

Yousafzai and Erika Kennair, Extracurricular’s president of productions, will produce alongside A24.

This documentary will be joining Apple’s acclaimed and award-winning documentary slate including docuseries and documentaries featuring the real-life stories of beloved stars including the four-part Earvin “Magic” Johnson docuseries “They Call Me Magic”; the Emmy Award-nominated documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry”; the Critics’ Choice Documentary Award-nominated film “The Velvet Underground”; the acclaimed documentary honoring iconic Academy Award-winning actor, filmmaker and actor Sidney Poitier, “Sidney”; and the recently announced untitled feature films about the life of beloved actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, and the legendary actor and comedian Steve Martin.