LKFF 2022: Masterclass with director Kim Han-min (The Admiral: Roaring Currents)

Hear director Kim Han-min discuss his production process, creative inspiration and industry tips.


Born in 1969, Kim Han-min first graduated from the prestigious Yeonsei in business administration in 1995. It wasn’t until after working for a film company that he decided to enter the theatre and film department of Dongguk University. He made his feature directorial debut in 2007 with the mystery-thriller Paradise Murdered.

When his second feature, Handphone (2008) failed to garner much commercial or critical success, not many would’ve predicted that in the summer of 2011 Kim’s Joseon Dynasty-set period drama War of the Arrows would become the biggest Korean box-office draw of the year with its 7.5 million admissions. This achievement, however, would pale in comparison to the historical record his follow-up would set.

Another period drama, The Admiral: Roaring Currents depicts the legendary naval battle that saw the remaining 13 vessels of the Korean navy, under the command of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, beat hundreds of invading Japanese ships. Starring Choi Minsik in the role of one of the most admired historical figures in Korea, it became Korea’s most watched film of all time with 17.6 million tickets sold – a record not surpassed until this day. This also marked the first release of his own studio Big Stone Pictures, with which he would act as an executive producer and co-screenwriter on The Hunt, The Battle: Roar to Victory and Oh! My Gran.

In 2021 he returned to the director’s chair with Hansan: Rising Dragon, a prequel to The Admiral: Roaring Currents and the second instalment in a planned trilogy about the rise and fall of Admiral Yi Sun-shin.


The Admiral: Roaring Currents screens as ‘Special Screening’ during LKFF 2022, accompanied by Q&A with Kim Han-min: 16 November, Regent St Cinema.