KMovie
Aug 26, 2015 | 10:36 AM EDT

Three K-Drama Actresses Who Also Direct

BY Julie Jones

Yoon Eun Hye will attend the 20th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) not as an actress but as a director. At the festival she will present "Red Eye," her second short film and directorial effort. "Red Eye" was nominated in the festival's Wide Angle section of outstanding short films.

The festival's program manager spoke with the Korean media outlet Naver TV about the fact that actors becoming directors is not that unusual. Actors such as Ha Jung Woo and Jo Jae Hyun have tried directing. And Yoon Eun Hye is not the only actress.

"One thing that stands out about Korean film is that there are so many instances where actors debut as directors," said the festival's program manager Kim Ji Suk.

Yoon wrote and filmed her first short film, "The Knitting," while attending Chungang University's graduate school of Advanced Imaging Science, Multimedia and Films, where she is studying for a master's degree in film production, with a focus on directing.

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Gu Hye Sun has probably directed the most films of any k-drama actress. Gu is known for acting in such dramas as "Angel Eyes," "Blood" and "Boys Over Flowers," but the actress also directed three full length-films and four short films. Her film "Daughter" was shown in the Korean Cinema Today section of the 2014 Busan International Film Festival. The film focused on the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and daughter. Jo Seung Woo, who appeared in her second film "Peach Tree," said that among the directors he has worked with she has the most energy and also pesters actors the least.

Actress Moon So Ri appeared in dozens of films and three dramas, before deciding to direct. Her last small screen appearance was in the MBC Drama Festival selection "Haneuljae's Murder," but she appeared in several recent films including "Venus Talk" aka "The Laws of Pleasure" and "Manshin: A Thousand Spirits," which explored Korean modern history through the eyes of a shaman.

Moon So Ri made her directorial debut with the short film "The Actress" and that film premiered at the 19th Busan International Film Festival. She hosted the festival with Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. In "The Actress" Moon played the title role of an actress who asks some inebriated friends what they really think about her.

"The actual premise is fictional, but it's a mélange of things that have really happened to me," Moon said in a 2014 interview with the American entertainment publication Variety. "I made it as part of my grad school course, so I feel slightly embarrassed that it's at BIFF."

Moon was the first Korean actor invited to be a jury member at the Locarno International Film Festival. That festival's director called her "the jewel of the Korean movie industry."

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