Calling all London film fanatics! 2016 sees an exciting new film festival heading our way, the London East Asia film festival; a film festival that celebrates the vibrancy of film-making in East Asia. And luckily for us the LEAFF will be giving us a taster of what’s to come next year with a pre-launch taster event this month, a mini film festival!
LEAFF’s 0th Edition – The Pre-launch
Friday 23 October – Sunday 25th October 2015
Cinemas : Odeon Leicester Square,
Odeon Covent Garden, Odeon Panton Street
This mini festival will open with Veteran (베테랑) the latest offering from one of our favourite Korean directors Ryoo Seung-wan. The LEAFF will also be bringing over Ryoo Seung-wan and producer Kang Hye-jung for a special Q&A after the film screening. Quite an impressive start for a mini festival!
We have collated all the information of the pre-launch screenings for you below. A selection which perfectly highlights the range and variety the LEAFF has in store for us next year including a UK première!
LEAFF Opening – Veteran (베테랑)
Plus Q&A with director Ryoo Seung-wan and producer Kang Hye-jung
Director: Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korea 2015
Friday 23 October 2015, 7pm – ODEON Leicester Square Première screen
A tough cop takes aim at the criminal heir of a corporate conglomerate in this brilliantly entertaining new thriller from South Korea’s top action director. Acclaimed for previous hits such as ‘The Unjust’ and ‘The Berlin File’, director Ryoo Seung-wan returns with one of his most stylish and exhilarating offerings yet.
‘Veteran’ builds a multi-layered story of a determined policeman trying to bring down a powerful criminal and infuses it with humour. With its rage for social justice, its cast of popular actors and its state-of-the-art action scenes, ‘Veteran’ has struck a chord with the public.
Kaili Blues (路边野餐) *UK Première
Director: Gan Bi, China 2015
Saturday 24 October 2015, 3pm – ODEON Panton Street
Human enzymes are stubborn. The enzymes of the soul are like water lilies. In a small clinic in the foggy and damp city of Kaili in exotic, subtropical Guizhou Province, two preoccupied doctors live ghost-like lives until one day, one of them, Chen Sheng, decides to fulfill his dead mother’s wish and sets off on a long train journey to look for his brother’s abandoned child. His partner at the clinic, a lonely old lady, asks him to bring an old photograph, a shirt and a cassette to her old sweetheart who has fallen ill. On the way, Chen passes a strange little town named Dangmai where time seemed to flow both forwards and backwards, the lives of the local people a complete mystery. He experiences his own past and future,lending him insight into his own life.
Journey to the Shore (岸辺の旅)
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2015
Saturday 24 October 2015, 6pm – ODEON Covent Garden
Mizuki’s husband Yusuke, drowned at sea three years ago. When he suddenly comes back home, she is not that surprised. Instead, Mizuki is wondering what took him so long. ‘Journey To The Shore’ follows the couple as Mizuki agrees to let her returned husband take her on a journey.
Director: Dodo Dayao, Philippines 2014
Saturday 24 October 2015, 9pm – ODEON Covent Garden
Like early-career Kiyoshi Kurosawa, ‘Violator’ is a deliberately-paced puzzle that keeps your skin creeping as it stays one step ahead of its audience, delivering unforgettably macabre images that hint at one of the darkest world views we’ve ever seen.
The first half of the film is a series of surreal vignettes as a hurricane approaches Manila. As the hurricane rips into Manila, their station is cut off from the outside world and they realize that what’s inside with them is pure evil.
Dark, despairing, and beautiful in its ugliness, ‘Violator’ is one of the few horror films in recent years to be as interested in emotions as jump scares.
Office (O PISEU)
Director: Hong Won-chan, South Korea 2015
Sunday 25 October 2015, 1pm – ODEON Panton Street
Exemplary officer worker Kim Byung-Guk murdered his entire family without any provocation and disappeared into thin air. Homicide detective Choi immediately begins his investigation at the ‘Office’, but all of Kim’s colleagues seem to be hiding something. He realizes that Kim and an intern named Mirae were close and attempts to dive into the mind of the killer.
Chasuke’s Journey (天の茶助)
Director: SABU, Japan 2015
Sunday 25 October 2015, 3:30pm – ODEON Panton Street
Chasuke’s Journey is the highly anticipated adaptation of writer-director SABU’s debut novel.
Chasuke’s Journey tells the story of a celestial tea server who returns to the physical world to save the life of a young woman fated to be killed in a car accident.
LEAFF Closing – SPL II: A Time For Consequences (殺破狼2)
Director: Cheang Pou-soi, Hong Kong/China 2015
Sunday 25 October 2015, 7pm – ODEON Leicester Square Première screen
SPL II: A Time For Consequences is a Chinese-Hong Kong action film directed by Soi Cheang. The film stars Tony Jaa from ‘Ong Bak’, Wu Jing, Simon Yam and Zhang Jin, with Louis Koo making a guest appearance.
SPL II: A Time For Consequences sees undercover cop Kit (Wu Jing) become a junkie in order to catch Mr Hung (Louis Koo), the mastermind behind a crime syndicate. When the operation goes sour and Kit blows his cover, his supervisor and uncle Wah (Simon Yam) decides to terminate the operation.
The three days are jam packed with the latest releases from East Asia and very impressive for a pre-launch mini festival. We can’t wait to see what LEAFF will bring to London next year! Not much is known about the LEAFF so far except that Hye-jung Jeon is the festival director. Previously Hye-jung Jeon was the director of the London Korean Film Festival and after she brought us Kang Dong-won, Jung Woo Sung and Superjunior last year (to name a few), our expectations are very high!
It is super exciting to have another London Film Festival to look forward to. To make sure you keep up to date, make sure you subscribe:
LEAFF’s festival director, Hye-Jung Jeon (former director of the London Korean Film Festival) worked closely with Chris Fujiwara, former artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, to carefully curate the very best of East Asia’s latest cinema for London’s film scene.
The years 2016 and beyond will see bigger programmes with a wide range of quality cinema: films for general audiences, the latest in stylish hits from horror and action genres, and a carefully curated selection of titles drawn from the region. Presenting these films as UK, international and European premieres, LEAFF gives audiences the chance to become acquainted with national cinemas that currently get little exposure in the west.
An annual festival, LEAFF will showcase East Asian filmmaking from both emerging and established directors and will give audiences the chance to interact with directors and stars.
Two film festival advisors, Kim Ji-seok from Busan International Film festival, and Roger Garcia from Hong Kong International Film Festival, advised LEAFF as to its vision and long-term approach. LEAFF also collaborates with London-based film distributors specialising in Asian cinema, including Third Window Films and Terracotta Distribution.
Mrs Hye-Jung Jeon, Director of The London East Asia Film Festival commented “The London East Asia Film Festival aims to introduce Asian films that directs the audience to really understand the culture. It will focus on the filmmakers’ perspective through conversations and not simply show Asian cinema that is a variation from European films. Also, this festival can achieve greater communication with the audience than festivals dedicated to a single country. I hope the people of London discover the distinction and individuality between different countries within East Asia.”
Mr Chris Fujiwara, Chief programmer said: “Around the world, Asian film festivals attract audiences in ever greater numbers, proving the excitement and enthusiasm that surround the films, the heritage, and the contemporary cultures of East and Southeast Asia. I look forward to welcoming the UK public on what promises to be a continuously unfolding and unpredictable cinematic adventure.”