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The 6th annual London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) returns 3 – 17 November 2011 showcasing the very best Korean films, UK premieres and events, ranging from the traditional gritty thrillers and skin crawling films, to family animation films new to the Korean film scene and… Kpop!
The diverse programme this year includes a North & South Korean film strand, a Ryoo Seung-wan Retrospective, a light hearted Korean films section, classic films by the late director Lee Man-hee, Classics and Directrospectives, an Animation day and Mise en scene short films, all taking place in London at the Odeon West End, Apollo, Korean Cultural Centre and ICA cinemas, and on tour nationally in Sheffield (11 – 13 Nov), Cambridge (18 – 20 Nov) and Newcastle (20- 24 Nov).
The opening night Gala 3 Nov (Odeon West End) kicks off with a special Kpop concert from 4.30pm, followed by the European premiere of War of the Arrow with a Q&A with director Kim Han-min, and preceded by a K Pop performance. The festival closes with the UK premiere of Director Ryoo Seung-wan’s commercially and critically successful new film about a dirty chain of corruption between the police and prosecuters, The Unjust, followed by a director Q&A, 17 Nov at the Apollo Cinema.
North & South programme at the ICA:
The ‘Forgotten war’ has been a tremendous inspiration for Korean filmmakers with 2010/11 being a standout year for films concerning the North/South divide, ranging from drama to action to family films including: The European premiere of Poongsan, a fast paced thriller written by Kim Ki-duk and the debut feature directed by his protegé Juhn Jai-hong about a young man who is tasked with a secret mission by South Korean government agents to bring over the lover of a high- ranking North Korean defector. LKFF presents the European premiere of The Front Line, a popular action drama set towards the end of the Korean war, sees the fight for a strategic territory that would come to determine the border between North and South Korea. Jeon Kyu- hwan’s third film Dance Town (UK premiere), follows the ambivalent migration of former North Korean national table tennis player Jung-rim (Ra Mi-ran, who won Best Actress at PIFF) as she heads to South Korea. The Yellow Sea, is a gripping story of a man who gets wrapped up in gangster violence while in search of his wife who has disappeared in Seoul.
Ryoo Seung-wan Retrospective at the Apollo cinema:
This year LKFF turns the spotlight on to Ryoo Seung-wan, a prolific filmmaker and actor, despite wide distribution of his work, is still little known in the UK. Inspired by Hong Kong action and Jackie Chan films, Ryoo Seung-wan became known as ‘the action kid’ upon his directorial debut, Die Bad (2000), an acclaimed four part action film made on a shoe string budget. City of Violence (2006) about a detective fighting organised crime; and his first major studio film, No Blood No Tears (2002) among others from his cannon including Dachimawa Lee (2008) and Crying Fist (2005) and of course The Unjust closing night gala film. LKFF is delighted to have Ryoo Seung-wan in attendance this year and participate in Q&As following Crying Fist and The Unjust.
LKFF brings a selection of the best light hearted side of Korean cinema to the ICA including: Sunny, South Korea’s box office record holder to date, about a girls’ friendship group, and starring K Pop stars to boot. Two other comedy films screening include Suicide Forecast about a baseball player come high flying insurance advisor, Detective K, a comedy about a series of mysterious murders. And Late Autumn directed by Kim Tae-yong is the third remake of the classic love story, originally by Lee Man-hee.
At the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC), LKFF presents Classics & Directrospectives (4, 7 & 8 November): some of the early films of the directors whose features are screening in the festival. They include: crime film, Handphone (Kim Han-min of War of the Arrow), Rough Cut (Jang Hoon of The Front Line) about Gangster violence, Korean box office hit Scandal Maker (Kang Hyung-chul of Sunny), Chaser (Na Hong-jin of Yellow Sea) about a dirty detective turned pimp and the critically acclaimed horror film, Memento Mori (Kim Tae-yong of Late Autumn).
On 11 & 12 November, LKFF presents classic films by Director Lee Man- hee at the KCC including: A day off (1968) a love story turned sour, Assassins (1969) a classic spy tale and the classic Late Autumn (remake by Kim Su-yong), about an encounter between a female convict on leave and a fugitive.
Animation Day at the ICA curated by KOCCA (Korean Creative Content Agency) brings a selection of popular and children animation films, alluding to the growth of the genre in Korean cinema to date. A very special feature animation Leafie(2011), based on a pre-teen best selling novel, boasts the biggest celebrity voice animation in Korea to date, with Choi Min-sik’s (star of Old Boy) as the lead voiceover. There will be a Q&A post screening with Director Oh Seongyun. Experience the sense of humor and unique storylines of selected Korean short animations with QR Code Screening in the cinema reception area of the ICA.
Mise-En-Scene shorts include a range of short films selected by the prestigious Mise En Scene Film Festival including 2nd place Berlin short film award winner, Broken Night about car crash fraud, Director Park Chan-wook’s (Oldboy) short, Paranmanjang (Night Fishing) a Golden Bear award-winning film at this year’s Berlinale and entirely shot on mobile phones.
One Minute Short Film Phone Competition Over the last two years there has been a boom in mobile phone technology which the filmmaking community has whole heartedly embraced. The use of camera phones and other mobile equipment particularly came to the forefront when Director Park Chan-wook released, Paranmanjang (Night Fishing).
To celebrate this LKFF is running a competition for anyone to enter a one minute short film, shot on a mobile phone. The film can be about anything you like with the top twenty being judged by a renowned Korean director tbc. The film will also be screened at the Mise-En-Scene shorts, alongside Paranmanjang. There will also be a number of great prizes to win.
For more information on the competition please visit koreanfilm.co.uk for the all rules and handy tips to get your film on the big screen.
Deadline Noon Sunday 30th October 2011. We look forward to watching your one minute wonders.
A Korean Cinema Forum will be chaired by author and Journalist Tony Rayns, Jeon Chan-il (Korean cinema programmer of Busan IFF), Choi Jin-hee (Lecturer in film studies at King’s College) and Kim Han-min (director of War of the Arrow).
Daniel Martin (Lecturer in Film Studies, Queen’s University Belfast) will talk about the background of North/South films booming in Korea.
Mark Morris (Professor, Cambridge University) will talk about Lee Man- hee, his lost film Late Autumn, and restored films and Director Ryoo Seung-wan will be doing a special masterclass at the NFTS.
Audiences can also enter in a draw to win a ticket to any screening of LKFF if they take a photo of themselves next to an underground advert of LKFF and send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org