Note: If you are looking for details of the 2016 London East Asia Film Festival, click here. This article as about the 2015 festival.
A new Film Fest is coming to town. Slotting neatly in between the BFI London Film Festival and the KCCUK’s London Korean Film Festival, the initial edition of the London East Asian Film Festival runs 23-25 October. It is organised by Ms Jeon Hye-jung, who this year moved on from the KCCUK where among other things she was director of the LKFF.
The opening screening has been announced: Ryu Seung-wan’s Veteran, in the presence of the director. News of other screenings will be released soon. You can keep up to date with its schedule via its Facebook page and website.
London East Asian Film Festival
The London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) highlights the excitement, range, and achievement of East Asian cinema by introducing outstanding new films from the region to UK audiences. Challenging perceptions about East Asia and its cinema, LEAFF celebrates the diversity of filmmaking that exists in the region and the many imaginative ways Asian filmmakers draw from and contribute to their cultures. The festival’s mission is to take audiences on a continuously unfolding adventure of cinematic discovery.
An annual festival, LEAFF showcases East Asian filmmaking from both emerging and established directors. LEAFF also gives audiences the chance to interact with directors and stars.
The programme covers 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 that represent remarkable artistic achievement in independent cinema. Films are drawn from the cinemas of Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Southeast Asian countries. 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.
Around the world, Asian film festivals continue to attract audiences in ever greater numbers, proving now more than ever the global excitement and enthusiasm that surround the films, the heritage, and the vibrant contemporary cultures of East and Southeast Asia. The UK filmgoing public can be expected to give a warm welcome to a festival that focuses exclusively on films from Asia and presents them in their rich and rapidly changing intercultural context.
LEAFF appeals to the young and urban demographic. Its prime audiences include the cinephile audience and the broader audience for cultural events in London.
For the initial edition, which will take place from the 23rd to the 25th October 2015, LEAFF will offer a small, selective showcase of major titles from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, and Southeast Asia. The years 2016 and beyond will see bigger programmes, including country and regional sections, horror and martial-arts strands, and retrospectives, together with a greater number of in-person events.
LEAFF’s festival director, Hye-jung Jeon (former director of the London Korean Film Festival) works closely with the former artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Chris Fujiwara. Chris will carefully curate the very best of East Asia’s latest cinema for London’s film scene. Three film festival advisors, Ji-seok Kim from Busan International Film festival, Roger Garcia from Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Simon Ward from Independent Cinema Office (ICO), will advise 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.