Birthday (2019 film)

Birthday is a 2019 South Korean drama film directed by Lee Jong-un, starring Sol Kyung-gu and Jeon Do-yeon.[2] The first South Korean film to explore the tragic sinking of the MV Sewol Ferry, it opened the 21st Far East Film Festival on 26 April 2019.[3][4]

Birthday 2019 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Revised RomanizationSaeng-il
Directed byLee Jong-un
Produced byLee Joon-dong
Lee Dong-ha
Lee Chang-dong
Written byLee Jong-un
StarringSol Kyung-gu
Jeon Do-yeon
Music byLee Jae-jin
CinematographyCho Yong-kyu
Edited byShin Min-kyung
Pinehouse Film
Redpeter Films
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Release date
  • 3 April 2019 (2019-04-03)
Running time
120 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$8 million[1]


Ripped apart by the loss of their eldest son Su-ho (Yoon Chan-young) to the Sewol Ferry tragedy on 16 April 2014, Jung-il (Sol Kyung-gu) and Soon-nam (Jeon Do-yeon) struggle to keep their family together. No longer able to communicate with each other, they must still bring up their surviving daughter Ye-sol (Kim Bo-min).[5][6]



Principal photography began on April 10, 2018, and wrapped on July 6, 2018.[7]


Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 86% based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 6.67/10.[8]


Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 55th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Director Lee Jong-un Nominated
24th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Director Nominated
Balinale[9] Best Feature Film Birthday Won
28th Buil Film Awards[10] Best Actor Sol Kyung-gu Nominated
Best Actress Jeon Do-yeon Won
Best New Director Lee Jong-un Nominated
40th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actor Sol Kyung-gu Nominated
Best Actress Jeon Do-yeon Nominated
Best New Director Lee Jong-un Nominated
6th Korean Film Producers Association Awards Best Actress Jeon Do-yeon Won
19th Director's Cut Awards Nominated
Women in Film Korea Awards Best Screenplay Lee Jong-un Won
2020 56th Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Sol Kyung-gu Nominated
Best Actress Jeon Do-yeon Nominated
Best Planning Birthday Nominated
56th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Director Lee Jong-un Nominated
Best Actress[11] Jeon Do-yeon Won


  1. ^ "Birthday (2019)". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon Talks About Difficulties of Ferry Disaster-Themed Film". Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (29 March 2019). "Far East Festival to Open With Korean Ferry Disaster Drama Birthday". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Birthday". 28 March 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  5. ^ Conran, Pierce (9 April 2019). "JEON Do-yeon and SUL Kyung-gu Drama Goes to Italy". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  6. ^ Frater, Patrick (28 March 2019). "Udine Festival to Open With Korean Tragedy Birthday". Variety. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  7. ^ "KoBiz - Korean Film Biz Zone". (in Korean). Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  8. ^ "BIRTHDAY (SAENG-IL)". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Festival Awards". Balinale. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  10. ^ "28th Buil Film Awards Nominees 2019". HanCinema. 28 August 2019. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  11. ^ MacDonald, Joan (5 June 2020). "2020 Baeksang Arts Awards Honor The Best Korean Dramas And Films". Forbes. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.

External linksEdit