Box office smash Hide and Seek to open festival; Kim Jee-woon to present his favourite short films.
The line-up of the 8th London Korean Film Festival (Nov 7-15) has been announced.
The programme includes contemporary Korean cinema titles, UK and European premieres of box office hits and retrospectives. It will also host several visiting directors and actors.
The festival’s Film Forum at London’s Korean Cultural Centre is also hoped to generate opportunities for filmmakers to meet and help foster links between South Korea and UK to encourage funding investment, co-productions and access to post production.
Screening will take place at major central London locations, such as the Odeon West End, but highlights of the programme will also travel to Oxford, Bradford and St. Andrews from Nov 16-22.
The festival will open on Nov 7 with the European premiere of Hide and Seek.
First time director Huh Jung’s home invasion thriller was an unexpected box office hit when released in South Korea in August. It topped the box office in its opening weekend, and reached 5 million tickets sales in less than three weeks.
The director will present the opening gala with the film’s star, Son Hyun-joo.
The festival will close on Nov 15 with the European premiere of Song Hae-sung drama Boomerang Family, which explores family dynamics and includes an ensemble cast of some of Korea’s biggest stars. Youn Yuh-Jung, best known to UK audiences for her award-winning role in The Housemaid, plays the family matriarch and will present the Closing Night Gala alongside co-star Park Hae-il, Yoon Je-moon and director Song Hae-sung.
Kang Woo Suk retrospective
The programme will include a retrospective of award-winning filmmaker and producer Kang Woo Suk, who has directed 16 films since 1988, with a focus on major social issues and domestic concerns.
Since the mid-1990s, he has also overseen the investment, planning and production of over 120 films.
The retrospective will include his crime thriller, Public Enemy (2002), which he will introduced with star and regular collaborator Sol Kyung-gu.
Other titles include his latest feature Fists of Legend (2013) as well as Silmido (2003), Moss (2010) and sequel Public Enemy Returns (2008).
While in London, Sol Kung-gu will also present a special preview of Lee Joon-ik’s latest film, Wish. The film recently topped the South Korean box office chart and is a dramatic retelling of a tragic real life story about an crime that shocked Korea.
This year’s Korean Classics strand marks 60 years since the Korean War Armistice with three war films including Shin Sang-ok’s The Red Scarf (1964); Lee Man-hee’s Marines Are Gone (1963); and Lee Kang-cheon’s Piagol (1955).
Kim Jee-woon favourites
Director Kim Jee-woon, who recently made his Hollywood debut with The Last Stand starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, will present a programme of his favourite short films which “illustrate his unique visual style”.
It will include a Q&A with actor Yoon Kyesang for the director’s latest short project One Perfect Day.
LKFF will also screen a selection of short films from Korea’s Mise-en-Scène Short Film Festival (MSFF) as well as a screening of Busan Film Festival director Kim Dong-ho’s directorial debut Jury, a comedy short about film festivals and award ceremonies.
Other shorts include Day Trip, the latest venture from the joint creative team of PARKing CHANce, the collaboration between Korean auteur Park Chan-wook and his brother Park Chan-kyong.
New Korean Cinema
A strand showcasing Korean box office hits will include The Flu, Secretly Greatly and Montage.
Director Kim Sung-su will present his outbreak disaster movie The Flu in London, with an audience Q&A.
Jang Cheol-soo’s comedy spy drama Secretly, Greatly broke several box office records in South Korea when it was released in June including the highest single day opening and the biggest opening
The New Korean Cinema strand will also feature critically acclaimed titles such as Yim Soon-rye’s family comedy South Bound; Yoo Ji-tae’s Mai Ratima, which won the Jury Prize at the Deauville Asian Film Festival; and Fatal, Lee Don-ku’s bullying drama that screened in the Panorama section at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
The programme also includes a family animation day with screenings of ice show Pororo: The Racing Adventure from South Korean animation house Ocon Animation Studios; and Bolts & Blip about two misfit city robots.
K-Comedy titles will include Code Name Jackal, starring K-pop star Kim Jae-joong; and romantic comedy How To Use Guys With Secret Tips starring Lee Si-young and Oh Jeong-se.