Born in South Korea, Stephen Kang moved to New Zealand as a teen, then studied at Auckland University's Elam School of Fine Arts. His debut feature, Korean émigré tale {Dream} Preserved was judged Best Digital Feature at the 2006 NZ Screen Awards. Kang scored further success with Blue — which follows a children's TV mascot with blue skin, who is reduced to working as a waiter. It won the Critics' Week section of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, after being one of 1250 initial entries. The same year saw the release of Kang’s feature Desert, the tale of a woman abandoned by her fiancé on her wedding day.

I wanted to have an ironic take on a seemingly simple fairytale in a modern context. Stephen Kang on his award-winning 2011 short film Blue