Norman J. Radow College Professor and Freshman Team Sweep Film Festivals with “About a Bowshot Away'' Documentary

Sangsun Choi, Assistant Professor of Communication at the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kennesaw State University (KSU), along with a team of four first-year students, have gained widespread acclaim for their recent project "About a Bowshot Away." This short documentary chronicles the journey of thirteen-year-old Korean American archer Hayun and her family as they navigate challenges on their quest to achieve mastery in the sport of archery.

KENNESAW, Ga. (Apr 23, 2024) — by: James R. Turner

In October 2023, Prof. Choi received a $5000 grant from the Norman J. Radow College to bring the project to fruition. The First-Year Scholars Program managed by Office of Undergraduate Research at KSU, provided an educational platform for first-year students Marisa Behan, Olivia Chaney, Sofia Cupertino, and Nelly Koz to contribute their time and talent to the documentary's production.

Over the span of a year, the team researched and analyzed documentary style filmmaking, and captured raw footage to document Hayun's journey and her family's dedication to her archery pursuits. Despite facing rejection from archery clubs in the past, Hayun's parents took on the coaching role, which included her father studying and training to be a certified archery coach, propelling their daughter to become one of the nation's top archers.

"About a Bowshot Away" has not only captured audiences' attention, it has garnered critical acclaim at several film festivals. The documentary has been selected for screening at prestigious events, including the Atlanta Film Festival, the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival, and the Jacksonville Film Festival.

Furthermore, the documentary has received recognition within academic circles, winning the Award of Excellence in the Faculty Micro Documentary Competition at the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts; and the Gold Award in the Video & Film Category at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Festival of Visual & Interactive Media.

Through "About a Bowshot Away," Prof. Choi and his team exemplify the power of collaboration between faculty and students. The documentary serves as an educational tool for the four students to work together on the technical aspects of film production. The reception by audiences and critics to the poignant portrayal of Hayun’s and her parents resilience and determination in overcoming incredible odds teaches the students about the impact an inspirational film can have.

Assistant Professor of Communication for Radow College's School of Communication and Media, Sangsun Choi poses with KSU students Marisa Behan, Olivia Chaney, Nelly Koz
Assistant Professor of Communication for Radow College's School of Communication and Media, Sangsun Choi (left), poses with KSU students (left to right) Marisa Behan, Olivia Chaney, Nelly Koz while on assignment for a short documentary named “About A Bowshot Away” which chronicles the journey of thirteen-year-old Korean American archer Hayun.

Prof. Choi's dedication to fostering young filmmakers extends beyond "About a Bowshot Away." He is the founder and director of the Kennesaw State University Film Festival, which is in its second year, and will screen new films on April 26th. The event is open to all.  Last year, the festival attracted an audience of more than 130. Each year a panel of distinguished professors from various universities and current film industry professionals judge the films. 

Professor Choi emphasizes the importance of film festivals and their role as learning experiences, especially through Q&A sessions: 

"Film festivals are more than just showcases for films. They provide a valuable opportunity for student filmmakers to communicate with their audiences through public screenings. Many students believe the end of media production is simply post-production, but the final stage communicates between the content and the viewers. Screenings allow filmmakers to witness the audience's initial reactions firsthand. Afterward, the Q&A sessions on stage are significant. These experiences are invaluable for student filmmakers, especially since they're often too focused on their work during the screening to notice the audience's expressions.”

Professor Choi's unwavering commitment to nurturing the next generation of storytellers is exemplified by his teachings, the inclusion of students in his film production "About a Bowshot Away," and the upcoming Kennesaw State University Film Festival. The film's acclaim on the festival circuit and in academic circles underscores his dedication to filmmaking excellence, while the festival itself fosters a supportive environment where aspiring filmmakers like Marisa, Olivia, Sofia, and Nelly can learn, grow, and potentially find their own voices. Through these endeavors, Professor Choi provides a springboard for young storytellers, just as he has done with "About a Bowshot Away."

With three schools and eight departments that serve nearly 8,000 students, Radow College offers over 80 programs of study across the humanities and social sciences. To learn more about the Kennesaw State University film festival visit:

And for more information on the educational opportunities available at Radow College, please visit