Born in South Korea, director/writer Kang was educated in America from the age of fifteen. She attended Tabor Academy, a college-preparatory boarding school on the coast of Massachusetts. Coming from a different culture, the change was an eye-opening refreshing shock, and she was fascinated by new ways of seeing, thinking and learning. She excelled in academics, but in her junior year, she found her life turned upside down as her health declined. Kang spent most of her senior year at The Winchendon School, near Mount Monadnock, and was honored by its Excellence in Art award upon her graduation. Those seven months at Winchendon were very influential in her decision to pursue a career in art and filmmaking.
Moving on to art school, where free-thinking and unique sensibility are encouraged and challenged, was an undeniably natural choice for Kang. She enrolled in the Savannah College of Art and Design's (SCAD) Film and Television program for two years, before transferring to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) to study with artist-filmmaker Sharon Couzin. While attending SAIC, Kang wrote and directed a feature length film Actually, Adieu My Love, as a part of SAIC's Independent Study Projects program. She graduated from SAIC with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio, with an emphasis in Film Art and Aesthetics.
She continued her artistic development at Columbia University in New York where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing. Graduating with honors, Kang's MFA thesis film The Loyalist was screened internationally and received numerous accolades, including an Honorable Mention Award in the International Short Film category from the 39th Cleveland International Film Festival; the Best Short Film Award from the 15th DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival; was nominated for the Best Female Director Award from the Adrienne Shelly Foundation; and was a finalist (received four nominations: Best Director, Best Writer, Best Film, Best Actress) at the 10th Annual NBCUniversal Short Film Festival.
This political drama short film was based on the feature screenplay Kang wrote while enrolled at Columbia. Presently, she is developing The Loyalist as a TV mini-series. The story was inspired by the all-school meeting speech Kang delivered about the Berlin Wall during her time at Tabor Academy.
Kang is also the recipient of the Tabor Academy John R. Pandolfi Music Award, the SCAD Merit Scholarship & Dean's List, the SAIC Enrichment Scholarship, and the Columbia TOMS Scholarship.
She is a fellow of BIFAN NAFF (Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival - Network of Asian Fantastic Films) Fantastic Film School, Berlinale - Talents Tokyo, Reykjavik Transatlantic Talent Lab, Let’s CEE (Central Eastern Europe) Talent Academy in Vienna, and an alumna of IFBA at the Busan Asian Film School (AFiS).
Her most important project in preparation, Illicit, is a dark cinematic fairy tale centered on a young blind woman set in the City of Angeles. Since the script advanced to the 2017 Academy Nicholl Quarterfinals, it has developed further in depth. The project has received support from the Seoul Film Commission and the Busan Film Commission, participated in the 2019 BIFAN NAFF 'It Project' Market, and the 2019 Busan Link of Cine-Asia Project Market. Endorsed by Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, Illicit was chosen for the Fantastic 7 of the 2020 Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes, featured in VARIETY, and presented at the 2021 Berlinale Talents Tokyo. The project is currently in the casting & financing stage.
While pursuing Illicit, Kang has participated in several projects as an editor. The Croatian-Slovenian-Swedish film In to the Blue is one of Kang's notable editing works (she was also a script supervisor on-set in Croatia). The film premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival and won Special Jury Mention for Best Short Film in the Generation 14Plus. Kang's contribution was recognized and awarded at the 27th Dani Hrvatskog Filma Award.
"In the montage category, Minji Kang was awarded for the film "In the Blue", in which "an extremely unobtrusive installation that perfectly guides and sets the rhythm of the film perfectly focuses on the relationships between the characters and rhythm increases the tension between them."
- Croatia Film Critics Association.
Her new story, Cry Like Huskies, is a coming-of-age drama centered on a 10-year-old tomboy. It's about overcoming emotional neglect and fears of abandonment and highlights the positive power of friendship. It was chosen for the 2021 Story Development Fund from the Korean Film Council, and selected to be part of the 2022 Cine Qua Non Lab's Storylines Lab.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kang helmed a 360° immersive & interactive project The Horizon, which was produced by Barunson and will premiere at the 2022 BIFAN XR: Beyond Reality. It is set to be exhibited across the immersive platforms including Steam VR. Additionally, she penned a Danish and South Korean co-production project, a dramatic feature based on a true story, tentatively titled Hana Korea, which is supported by the Danish Film Institute and DMZ Docs and was selected for the 2022 Berlinale Talent Project Market.
Cinema, as an art form, has been a delightful blank canvas that enables Kang to express her boundless imagination, sensual melodies, and candy-colored hopes and dreams, even at times when things fall in minor keys. Over the past decade, Kang has been playing Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin as a means of spiritual meditations. She frequently splits her time between Seoul, New York, and Los Angeles.