Director Ryoo Seung-Wan’s Veteran drew huge approval this year, and with much praise and delight ahead of sequel news with said director. Just as equally for the movie crowd in the UK, the film will also be headlining as the opener for this month’s pre-launch ceremony for next year’s premiere installment of LEAFF (London East Asia Film Festival).
Tickets for the pre-launch are now available with more info at the official LEAFF website. For this, host to a slew of info is their latest press release for the pre-launch which kicks off its three-day event on October 23, and there are only a handful of films, but it’s a tasty selection attendees will surely approve.
Taking place from 23 to 25 October 2015 at Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon Covent Garden and Odeon Panton Street, this initial pre-launch edition of the new London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) will offer a small, selective showcase of major titles from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, and Southeast Asia.
The 0th edition of the London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) will open with Korean box-office breaker VETERAN on Friday 23 October at Odeon Leicester Square; this Opening Night Gala will welcome top Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan and producer Kang Hye-jung to present the film.
The festival will close with Soi Cheang’s organ transplant actioner SPL2 – A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES, a Chinese-Hong Kong collaboration featuring muay thai superstar Tony Jaa.
Over the weekend there will be UK premières of Bi Gan’s time-confounding Chinese reverie KAILI BLUES, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s ghostly romantic drama JOURNEY TO THE SHORE, Dodo Dayao’s diabolical apocalypse VIOLATOR, Hong Won-chan’s bureaucratic slasher OFFICE, and Sabu’s heavenly comedy CHASUKE’S JOURNEY.
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.”
LEAFF full line-up and timings:
VETERAN: Ryoo Seung-wan | Action Crime | South Korea | 124min | 2015, European Premiere, Q&A with director Ryoo Seung-wan and producer Kang Hye-jung
Opening Gala, Friday 23rd Oct, 7pm, Odeon Leicester Square.
KAILI BLUES: Bi Gan | drama | China | 110min |2015, UK Premiere
Saturday 24th Oct, 3pm, Odeon Panton Street.
JOURNEY TO THE SHORE: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | drama | Japan| 128min | 2015, UK premiere
Saturday 24th Oct, 6pm, Odeon Covent Garden.
VIOLATOR: Dodo Dayao | Horror | Philippines | 101min | 2014, UK Premiere
Saturday 24th Oct, 9pm, Odeon Covent Garden, co-presented with Terracotta Distribution.
OFFICE: Hong Won-chan | Thriller | South Korea | 111min | 2015, UK Premiere
Sunday 25th Oct 1pm, Odeon Panton Street.
CHASUKE’S JOURNEY: Sabu | comedy | Japan | 106min |2015, UK Premiere
Sunday 25th Oct, 3.30pm Odeon Panton Street.
SPL2 – A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES: Soi Cheang | Martial Arts Action | Hong Kong China | 118min | 2015, UK premiere
Sunday 25th October 7pm, Odeon Leicester Square.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.