Two Korean actors made their directorial debuts at the 18th Busan International Film Festival, which opened last Thursday -- Park Joong-hoon with "Top Star" and Ha Jung-woo with "Fasten Your Seatbelt."
At an outdoor talk session for his film held at Haeundae Beach in the southern port city on Saturday, Park said, "I've been an actor for 28 years, having started out at the age of 20. In that time I received a lot of love and attention from movie fans, and I suppose in a way it made me more of a narcissist." He added that he has seen many actors lose their way and turn into different people after starting to believe their own hype, which is an issue he wanted to deal with in his first film as director.
When asked how he felt about being compared with Ha, he said, "Movies are not a zero-sum game. If both of us have made good films, people will love them both."
Ha, one of the most sought-after actors in the Korean movie industry these days, also came onstage after Park and talked about donning the director's cap for the first time.
"When I first decided to become an actor, I also thought about directing. After finishing shooting 'The Berlin File,' I was able to finally take some time out, so I immediately began writing a scenario," he said.
"Having pondered what kind of film I should make, I came to the conclusion that I would only be satisfied if the audience could enjoy it and get some laughs. This naturally led me to write a comedy," he added.
Ha's film reflects his sense of humor and creativity through its unusual use of make-up, bizarre costumes and witty dialogue.
The versatile actor is already preparing to direct his next film, which is slated to be released in the second half of 2014.
Park's "Top Star" is a fictional account of Korea's entertainment industry and the wealth, extravagance and sometimes harsh realities that riddle the lives of its celebrities. It is scheduled to be released nationwide on Oct. 24.
"Fasten Your Seatbelt" is a comedy about the chaos that ensues when a plane carrying a pop star, monk and paparazzi, among other passengers, runs into a typhoon. It will hit theaters on Oct. 17.