With its 3rd edition just around the corner, London East Asia Film Festival announced an impressive 2018 line-up. Hye-Jung Jeon, the Director of LEAFF, travelled to ‘each corner’ of the globe, powered by her undying passion for cinema, to make sure that the films she will present at this year’s festival are noteworthy.
Dark Figure of Crime by Kim Tae-gyun
The 3rd London East Asia Film Festival will open with Kim Tae-gyun’s (Crossing, A Barefoot Dream) newest work Dark Figure of Crime, a crime drama starring one of the most prominent actors of his generation, Kim Yoon-seok (The Yellow Sea, 1987: When the Day Comes), and the heart-throb of the Korean cinema, Ju Ji-hoon (Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, The Spy Gone North). What’s more exciting is that the festival will celebrate Kim Yoon-seok’s extraordinary talent by showing not one but four of his films; the already mentioned Dark Figure of Crime, 1987: When the Day Comes, The Classified File, The Thieves and The Chaser – will be screened – a combination that is nothing but a great treat for the film goers. The gentle and sentimental drama Ramen Shop by Eric Khoo (Tatsumi, In the Room) will be the London East Asia Film Festival’s closing night.
Ramen Shop by Eric Khoo
This year’s LEAFF will screen films from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and – believe it or not – North Korea. LEAFF secured 6 International premieres, which is very impressive for such a young festival; there will also be 8 European and 23 UK premieres. The event will have something for everyone with its versatile strands: the LEAFF Official Selection includes Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest feature, Yocho (Foreboding) and Human, Space, Time and Human by Kim Ki-duk, one of the most outspoken and controversial Korean filmmakers. The other strands include Actor Focus: Kim Yoon-seok, Cinematic Journey Through Taiwan, and Stories of Women Competition, which will open with the powerful film noir, Miss Baek by Lee Ji-Won.
LEAFF also teamed up with another ambitious film festival, Nara International Film Festival. LEAFF and Ruth Linton of NIFF have selected four short films by Japanese filmmakers: The Wind from Persia by Misaki Matsui, Kofukuna by Ayane Nakasu, Good Afternoon by Akira Yamamoto, and The Girlfriend by Saki Michimoto. LEAFF will also present Documentary, Horror Special and The First Look strands.
Yocho by Kiyoshi Kurosawa & Miss Baek by Lee Ji-woon
One of the must-see films at LEAFF will be Kim Ji-young’s Intention, a collaboration between the documentary’s filmmaker and an investigative journalist Kim Ou-joon; Intention shows more evidence of “a conspiracy behind the deadly 2014 sinking of the ferry Sewol off South Korea’s southwestern coast – but refrains from addressing who could have been behind it, or what the motive could have been.” (Asia Times). It promises to be a heart-rending and high-powered documentary that shouldn’t be missed.
On top of all the great screenings, LEAFF will guest many film directors, including Director Kim Tae-gyun – Dark Figure of Crime, Felix Chong – Project Gutenberg, Director Bon An – Sen Sen, Director Chen Yu-Hsun – Tropical Fish, Director Nicholas Bonner – Comrade Kim Goes Flying, Director Anja Daelemans – Comrade Kim Goes Flying, Director Kim Ji-young –Intention. LEAFF also invited Actors Kim Yoon-seok (Dark Figure of Crime / Actor Focus) and Cres Chuang (Great Buddha+) as well as actresses Han Ji-min (Miss Baek) and Kim Da-mi (The Witch) to participate in the festival – a guest line-up that sounds like an early Christmas present!
Besides London, LEAFF will also travel to Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield and St Andrews. If you live in one of these cities, make sure to trot over to the closest cinema – you might get to see some of the jewels of Asian Cinema.
London East Asia Film Festival will run from October 25 to November 4. Don’t miss out on the chance and book your tickets soon!
Written by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Sanja Struna
Featured photo © LEAFF
All film posters © Films’ production companies
LEAFF Trailer © LEAFF