Last night we were treated to a special preview screening of the opening film of this year’s London Korean Film Festival: Kim Han-min’s high-energy historical action film Arrow the Ultimate Weapon. It will get the festival off to a rip-roaring start, as The Man from Nowhere did last year.
So the publicity campaign for the festival has started, and the KCCUK has released preliminary details of the event, which has now been going on for at least 10 years in various guises. An innovation this year is a one-minute mobile phone film competition, encouraging young film-makers to follow the example set by Park Chan-wook.
THE LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL
3 – 17 NOVEMBER 2011
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.
The diverse programme this year includes a North & South Korean film strand, a Ryoo Seung-wan Retrospective, a light hearted comedy films section, an Animation day and Mise en scene short films, all taking place in London at the Cineworld Haymarket, Apollo and ICA cinemas, and on tour nationally in Sheffield, Cambridge and Newcastle.
The opening night Gala 3 Nov (central London location tbc), kicks off with the European premiere of Arrow The Ultimate Weapon with a director Q&A, and followed by a K Pop performance. The festival closes with the UK premiere of Director Kim Ki-duk‘s controversial documentary, Arirang, in which he explains his three year absence from filmmaking, followed by a Q&A, 17 Nov.
North & South programme
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 highranking 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. The award winning drama, Journals of Musan (UK premiere), directed by and starring Park Jung-bum (assistant to Lee Chang-dong on the acclaimed film Poetry), is a profound tale of a North Korean defector attempting to start a new life on the outskirts of Seoul. 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.
Ryoo Seung-wan Retrospective
This year LKFF turns the spotlight on to Ryoo Seung-wan, a prolific filmmaker and actor who, despite wide distribution of his work, is still little known in the UK. Inspired by Hong Kong action and Jackie Chan films, Ryoo Seung 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. This retrospective which sees him in attendance, will include the UK premiere of his commercially and critically successful new film about a dirty chain of corruption between the police and prosecuters, The Unjust (2010); 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).
Light Hearted Comedies
LKFF brings a selection of the best light hearted comedies 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 and Detective K, a comedy about a series of mysterious murders.
The Animation season curated by KOCCA (Korean Creative Content Agency) brings a selection of popular children and animation films, alluding to the growth of the genre in Korean cinema to date. A highlight among others so far confirmed is Leafie, A Hen to the Wild, based on a pre-teen best selling novel, the film boasts the biggest celebrity voice animation in Korea to date, with Choi Min-shik‘s (star of Old Boy) as the lead voiceover.
Mise-En-Scene short films
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 (Old Boy) short, Paranmanjan (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, Paranmanjan (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 Paranmanjan. 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 Monday 17th October 2011. We look forward to watching your one minute wonders.
The festival will host a number of events including director Masterclasses and a night dedicated to the UK’s distributors to be confirmed.
For further information visit: www.koreanfilm.co.uk