BUSAN: Helmer Juhn Jaihong Always Worries About Next Gig

Juhn Jai Hong Busan Film Festival

BUSAN — The ups and downs of Juhn Jaihong’s six-year career as a director have informed his films. His “Gifted,” in Busan’s Vision section, sees an unemployed man find his true vocation as a serial killer.

Why is the protagonist in “Gifted” so tormented by being unemployed?

It’s about my own situation. A director is always at the mercy of others. If a film flops it’s always the director who is blamed. I worry that I’ll never work again. So many directors around me haven’t made a film in years – decades even.

“Poongsan” featured big name stars, but “Gifted” is comparatively low-budget and you financed it out of your own pocket.

During the 3 years I was “resting” I wondered if I should continue. Some producers told me that I’d never make a film again. I’d saved $34,000 and toyed with the idea of making a film with it or just taking off. In fact, this year, I was able to make a commercial movie again, but I still made “Gifted.” I think my investors are a bit surprised now.

The main female character breaks up with her B.F. when he’s broke and gets back with him once he starts making money.

Most Korean men would agree there is incredible pressure to put the bacon on the table. She is a symbol of the pressure to be economically productive.

Many people still associate you with Kim Ki-duk

I have no problem with that. He’s my alma mater. But it’s what I’m doing now that’s more important, rather than where I studied.

What’s next?

A horror film based on a web cartoon series “0.0 MHz.”

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