Han Jae-rim

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Han Jae-rim
Born (1975-07-14) July 14, 1975 (age 45)
Alma materSeoul Institute of the Arts
OccupationFilm director,
Years active2003-present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHan Jae-rim
McCune–ReischauerHan Chae-rim

Han Jae-rim (born July 14, 1975) is a South Korean film director. He directed Rules of Dating (2005), The Show Must Go On (2007), and The Face Reader (2013).


Born in 1975, Han Jae-rim graduated from Seoul Institute of the Arts in 1998. He began his filmmaking career in 2003 as an assistant director and script editor for Min Byung-chun's Natural City.[1]

Han was the runner-up for Best Screenplay at the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) Screenplay Contest in 2003 with To Do or Not to Do, which he had co-written with Go Yoon-hee. Retitled Rules of Dating, it became his directorial debut in 2005.[2] Featuring sexually frank dialogue between teacher colleagues played by Park Hae-il and Kang Hye-jung, the film explored controversial gender politics, sexual harassment and moral relativism in a cynical and unsettling take on the romantic comedy.[3] Rules of Dating drew critical praise and became a sleeper hit with 1.6 million admissions.[4] Han won Best Screenplay at the Blue Dragon Film Awards, along with Best New Director at the Busan Film Critics Awards and the Grand Bell Awards.[5][6]

Han, Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung then signed on to each shoot a short film for the omnibus Doomsday Book in 2006. Han's segment "The Christmas Gift" was supposed to have been a science-fiction musical retelling of O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, but it was never shot after financing fell through. The film was later released in 2012, but without Han's involvement (Kim and Yim co-directed the third short with a completely new script).[7]

In 2007, he wrote and directed his second film, The Show Must Go On. Starring Korea's top actor Song Kang-ho as a mid-level gangster dealing with family and work troubles, Han injected off-kilter comedy and pathos into the Korean film noir genre.[8] The Show Must Go On won Best Film at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.[9]

Han entered pre-production for his purported third film, Trace in 2009. Based on the webtoon of the same title, it follows a young man who wakes up from a coma with superpowers after an assault that took his father's life.[10][11] But despite winning the Kodak Award (with a cash prize of US$17,000) at the Busan International Film Festival's Pusan Promotion Plan, Han was unable to secure financing for the US$7.7 million blockbuster, and the project was shelved.[12]

Six years after his last completed film, Han returned to the big screen in 2013 with period drama The Face Reader.[13] The film delved into the philosophical question whether character determines fate or vice versa, in a story about a Joseon fortuneteller skilled in physiognomy who becomes swept up in court intrigues and power struggles.[14] Again starring Song Kang-ho as the titular character opposite Lee Jung-jae as the ambitious Grand Prince Suyang, The Face Reader scored 9.1 million admissions at the local box office, making it the 13th highest grossing Korean film of all time.[15] It won six trophies at the 50th Grand Bell Awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Han.[16][17]

Han also produced Roh Deok's films Very Ordinary Couple (2013) and Journalist (2015).[18]




  1. ^ "HAN Jae-rim". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  2. ^ Lee, Min-a (8 June 2005). "Flirting teachers spice their job with romance". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  3. ^ Bertolin, Paolo (26 April 2006). "Korean Films Receive Hot Spotlight at Udine". The Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  4. ^ Elley, Derek (28 August 2005). "Review: Rules of Dating". Variety. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  5. ^ "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance wins Best Picture Award". KBS Global. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  6. ^ D'Sa, Nigel (26 July 2006). "43rd Crowns King and the Clown". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  7. ^ Elley, Derek (24 October 2012). "Doomsday Book". Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  8. ^ Kim, Kyu-hyun (29 January 2008). "It's Song Kang-ho's Show All the Way". OhmyNews International. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  9. ^ Paquet, Darcy (25 November 2007). "Korea's Dragons roar for Show". Variety. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  10. ^ D'Sa, Nigel (31 August 2009). "HAN Jae-rim's Super-Hero Project Unveils at Pusan". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  11. ^ "2009 Project: Trace". Asian Project Market. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  12. ^ D'Sa, Nigel (22 October 2009). "PPP Awards Announced". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  13. ^ Oh, Dong-jin (30 September 2013). "Interview with Han Jae-rim, the director of The Face Reader". Art:Mu. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  14. ^ Lee, Maggie (23 October 2013). "Film Review: The Face Reader". Variety. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  15. ^ "Face Reader Exploits Changing Trends to Race up Film Charts". The Chosun Ilbo. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  16. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (1 November 2013). "The Face Reader Shines at South Korea's Dae Jong Film Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  17. ^ Conran, Pierce (4 November 2013). "THE FACE READER Picks Up 6 at 50th Grand Bell Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. Archived from the original on 8 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  18. ^ Conran, Pierce (11 February 2015). "JO Jung-suk, LEE Ha-na Pair Up for ROH Deok's JOURNALIST". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  19. ^ https://variety.com/2019/film/asia/song-kang-ho-lee-byung-hun-korea-emergency-declaration-1203317958/

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