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A look at the 2016 London Korean Film Festival programme

LKFF 2016 banner

Oooh oooh oooh my favourite film of 2012, and in a shortlist for my film of the decade is being screened again. I thought it would never find its way back into a London theatre and that I’d never have the pleasure of seeing it again, because it’s not the sort of movie that they’re ever likely to bring out on DVD. But those nice people at the KCC are bringing it back as part of the LKFF2016 stream of independent movies. Yes, Park Hong-min’s amazing, eye-popping and deeply mysterious feature A Fish is coming to London again. Knowing that movie is part of the LKFF’s 2016 programme, and also that his follow-up film Alone (2015) is getting its London premiere, I almost don’t care what else is screening.

Park Hong-min's debut feature A Fish
A shamanistic exorcism near Jindo in Park Hong-min’s debut feature A Fish


But then, there’s the animated companion piece to Train to Busan (which itself is screening as a teaser in early October): Seoul Station; there’s a Lee Jang-ho retrospective including Man with Three Coffins. There’s Venice Silver Lion winner Factory Complex by Im Heung-soon and Kim Hong-joon’s My Korean Cinema heading a strong Documentary strand. There’s an exciting collection of experimental films and of course the usual strand of shorts. And that’s before we get on to the focus on women’s film and all the hits from the last year or so including Lee Joon-ik’s Dong-Ju: The Portrait of A Poet and Lee Kyoung-mi’s The Truth Beneath. Can’t wait.

The Truth Beneath
The Truth Beneath – the opening gala screening

Up-to-date details can be found on the official site,

11th London Korean Film Festival First Announcement

European Premiere of The Truth Beneath to Open Festival
+ Special Focus on Women Directors

Following on from last year’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, the London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) is proud to embark on a second decade of introducing the finest Korean cinema to UK audiences.

This year the LKFF runs from November 3 – 17 in London before embarking on a tour of the UK, bringing highlights from the programme to Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Belfast. Directors and stars will be in attendance at screenings and special events throughout the festival as we shine our spotlight on what continues to be one of the most exciting national cinemas in the world.

For this year’s Opening Gala the festival is pleased to unveil the European Premiere of director Lee Kyoung-mi’s powerful thriller The Truth Beneath. Actress Son Ye-jin (The Pirates, A Moment to Remember) gives her finest performance to date in the role of Yeonhong, wife of politician Jong-chan (Kim Ju-hyuk – Yourself and Yours) who’s about to embark on the biggest campaign of his career. Joined by their daughter, Min-jin, the trio appears to be a picture-perfect family until their world is shattered when young Min-jin goes missing. Infuriated by her husband’s decision to continue campaigning throughout the crisis, Yeon-hong embarks on a crusade of her own to find the truth beneath her daughter’s disappearance, uncovering a network of secrets and lies as she digs ever deeper.

One of the most talked about topics over the past year has been the under-representation of certain groups within the global film industry. This conversation has played out across international film festivals, awards ceremonies, and media. With this in mind, and with a new vision for a new decade, the LKFF is looking towards the future as we proudly present a special strand entitled The Lives of Korean Women through the Eyes of Women Directors, showcasing fiction features from a feminine point of view. The Opening Film’s director, Lee Kyoung-mi, is spearheading this women’s movement by coming to the festival in person with The Truth Beneath (2016), plus we’ll be showing her highly acclaimed, Park Chan-Wook produced debut Crush and Blush (2008). Reaching as far back as 1955 we’ll present the first ever film from a female director in South Korea, Park Nam-ok’s portrayal of the hardships faced by women post-war, The Widow. It’s been nearly 20-years since Korean cinema first started to take the world by storm and our eclectic programme shines a light on the work of women filmmakers over this period, including the significantly all-female cast (star Bae Doona included) of Take Care of My Cat (2001) and Yim Soon-rye’s hit drama about the South Korean women’s handball team, Forever the Moment (2008). Yim, a leading female director in the Korean New Wave, will be appearing at the festival to talk about her work. Lee Hyun-ju’s new indie lesbian drama Our Love Story (2015) brings us up to date with a topical modern love story. All these and many more are waiting to be discovered in Special Focus: The Lives of Korean Women through the Eyes of Women Directors.

It’s been a truly fantastic year for Korean cinema and the LKFF is proud to present an exciting programme, which covers the length and breadth of the industry. From the biggest summer blockbusters to the surprise indie hits, from stimulating documentaries to absorbing dramas, no stone is left unturned as we continue to explore this continually compelling national cinema.

Opening Gala

The Truth Beneath 비밀은 없다
Thriller, 2016, 1h 42min
Director: Lee Kyoung-mi
Cast: Son Ye-jin, Kim Joo-hyuck

Closing Gala

Yourself and Yours 당신 자신과 당신의 것
Drama, 2016, 1h 26min
Director: Hong Sang-soo
Cast: Kim Joo-hyuck, Lee You-young

Special Focus: the lives of Korean women through the eyes of women directors

The Widow 미망인
Drama, Romance, 1955, 1h 15min
Director: Park Nam-ok
Cast: Lee Min-ja, Tackyun, Choi Nam-hyun, Yu Gye-seon, Na Ae-sim
Paju 파주
Drama, Romance, 2009, 1h 51min
Director: Park Chan-ok
Cast: Lee Sun-kyun, Seo Woo
Forever the Moment 우리 생애 최고의 순간
Drama, 2008, 2h 4min
Director: Yim Soon-rye
Cast: Moon So-ri, Kim Jung-eun, Uhm Tae-woong, Kim Ji-young, Cho Eun-ji
Cart 카트
Drama, 2014, 1h 44min
Director: Boo Ji-young
Cast: Yum Jung-ah, Moon Jeong-hee, Kim Young-ae, Kim Kang-woo
Our Love Story 연애담
Drama, Romance, 2015, 1h 39min
Director: Lee Hyun-ju
Cast: Lee Sang-hee, Ryu Sun-young
Helpless 화차
Mystery, 2012, 1h 57min
Director: Byun Young-joo
Cast: Lee Sun-kyun, Kim Min-hee, Cho Seung-ha
Take Care Of My Cat 고양이를 부탁해
Drama, 2001, 1h 52min
Director: Jeong Jae-eun
Cast: Bae Doo-na, Lee Yo-won, Ok Ji-yong, Lee Eun-sil
Crush and Blush 미쓰 홍당무
Drama, Comedy, 2008, 1h 40min
Director: Lee Kyoung-mi
Cast: Kong Hyo-jin, Lee Jong-hyeuk, Seo Woo, Hwangwoo Seul-hye
The Way Home 집으로…
Drama, 2002, 1h 27min
Director: Lee Jeong-hyang
Cast: Yoo Seung-ho, Kim Ul-boon
A Blue Mouthed Face 파란 입이 달린 얼굴
Drama, 2015, 1h 51min
Director: Kim Soo-jung
Cast: Jang Liu, Jin Yong-uk, Park Byeong-chul
Keeping the Vision Alive 아름다운 생존
Drama, Documentary, 2001, 51min
Director: Yim Soon-rye

Hits from 2015-2016

Dong-Ju: The Portrait of A Poet 동주
Drama, 2015, 1h 50min
Director: Lee Joon-ik
Cast: Kang Ha-neul, Park Jung-min
Fourth Place 4등
Drama, 2015, 1h 59min
Director: Jung Ji-woo
Cast: Park Hae-joon, Lee Hang-na, Yoo Jae-sang
A Violent Prosecutor 검사외전
Crime, Comedy, 2016, 2h 6min
Director: Lee Il-hyung
Cast: Hwang Jung-min, Gang Dong-won
Inside Man 내부자들
Drama, Crime, 2015, 2h 10min
Director: Woo Min-ho
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Cho Seung-woo, Baek Yoon-sik
Seoul Station 서울역
Horror, Animation, 2016, 1h 33min
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Cast: (Voice) Ryu Seung-ryong, Shim Eun-kyung, Lee Joon
The Phantom Detective 탐정 홍길동: 사라진 마을
Drama, Action, 2016, 2h 5min
Director: Jo Sung-hee
Cast: Lee Je-hoon, Kim Sung-kyun, Go A-ra, Park Keun-hyong
The Hunt 사냥
Action, 2016, 1h 33min
Director: Lee Woo-chul
Cast: Ahn Sung-ki, Cho Jin-woong, Han Ye-ri, Son Hyun-ju
Asura: The City of Madness 아수라
Crime, Action, 2016, 2H TBC
Director: Kim Seong-soo
Cast: Jung Woo-sung, Hwang Jung-min, Ju Ji-hoon
One Way Trip 글로리데이
Drama, 2015, 1h 33min
Director: Choi Jeong-yeol
Cast: Ji Soo, Suho, Ryu Jun-yeol, Kim Hee-chan

Indie Firepower

Programmed by Tony Rayns

Alone 혼자
Fantasy, Mystery, 2015, 1h 30min
Director: Park Hong-min
Cast: Lee Ju-won, Song You-hyun
A Fish 물고기
Mystery, 2011, 1h 37min
Director: Park Hong-min
Cast: Lee Jang-hoon, Kim Sun-bin
Jesus Hospital 밍크코트
Drama, 2011, 1h 31min
Director: Shin A-ga, Lee Sang-cheol
Cast: Hwang Jung-min, Kim Mi-hyang, Han Song-hee
+ Soju and Ice Cream 소주와 아이스크림
Drama, 2016, 36min
Director: Lee Kwang-kuk
Cast: Park Joo-hee, Seo Young-hwa, Yoon Young-min
A Mere Life 벌거숭이
Drama, Crime, 2013, 1h 16min
Director: Park Sang-hun
Cast: Kim Min-hyeok, Jang Liu
Miss Ex 비치온더비치
Drama, Romance, 2016, 1h 39min
Director: Jeong Ga-young
Cast: Jeong Ga-young, KimChoi Yong-joon, Lee Ha-yoon

Classics Revisited: Lee Chang-ho retrospective

Programmed by Mark Morris

The Man with Three Coffins
나그네는 길에서도 쉬지 않는다

Romance, 1988, 1h 44min
Director: Lee Jang-ho
Cast: Lee Bo-hee, Kim Myung-kon, Ko Seol-bong, Chu Seok-yang
Eoh Wu-dong 어우동
Historical Drama, Romance, 1985, 1h 50min
Director: Lee Jang-ho
Cast: Lee Bo-hee, Ahn Sung-ki, Kim Myung-kon
Good Windy Days 바람불어 좋은 날
Drama, 1980, 1h 57min
Director: Lee Jang-ho
Cast: Lee Yeong-ho, Ahn Sung-ki, Kim Seong-chan, Lim Ye-jin, Kim Bo-yeon, Yu Ji-in, Choi Bool-am, Kim Hee-ra


Kai 카이: 거울 호수의 전설
Animation, 2016, 1h 35min
Director: Lee Sung-gang
The Tayo Movie Mission : Ace 극장판 꼬마 버스 타요의 에이스 구출 작전
Animation, 2015, 48min
Director: Ryu Jung-oo


with Essay Film Festival

Cinema on the Road 한국영화 씻김
Documentary, 1995, 52min
Director: Jang Sun-woo
Cast: Im Kwon-taek, Lee Jang-ho, Chung Ji-young, Park Kwang-su
My Korean Cinema: Episode 1-8 나의 한국영화: 에피소드 1-8
Documentary, 112MIN
Director: Kim Hong-joon
Wind on the Moon 달에 부는 바람
Documentary, 2016, 1h 41min
Director: Yi Seung-jun
Cast: Kim Ye-ji, Kim Mi-young, Kim Ja-yeop, Kim Ha-neul
Factory Complex 위로공단
Documentary, 2015, 1h 35min
Director: Im Heung-soon
Cast: Shin Soon-ae, Lee Chong-gak, Lee Ki-bok, Kim Young-mi, Kang Myung-ja
Breathing Underwater 물숨
Documentary, 2016, 1h 21min
Director: Ko Hee-young

Mise En Scene Shorts

by Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival

Summer Night 여름밤
Drama, 2016, 30min 28sec
Director: Lee Ji-won
Cast: Han Woo-yeon, Jung Da-eun
Love Complex 연애경험
Drama, Romance, 2016, 37min 21sec
Director: Oh Seong-ho
Cast: Koo Ja-eun, Hwang Sun-mi, Baek Seung-cheol
You should know that 그건 알아주셔야 됩니다
Comedy, 2015, 9min 28sec
Director: Han Ji-su
Cast: Kim Gyeong-nam, Seo Seung-hwa, Eo Seong-uk
Deer flower 사슴꽃
Horror, Fantasy, 2015, 7min 34sec
Director: Kim Kang-min
Bargain 몸값
Action, Thriller, 2015, 14min 06sec
Director: Lee Chung-hyun
Cast: Park Hyuong-soo, Lee Joo-young
Nae-ap 내앞
Hist orical Drama, Fantasy, 2015, 18min 34sec
Director: Kim In-geun
Cast: Hwang Jung-in, Oh Yoon-ho, Heo Hong-seok
Birds fly back to the nest 새들이 돌아오는 시간
Drama, Romance, 2016, 21min 26sec
Director: Jeong Seung-o
Keep going 멈추지 마
Action, Thriller, 2015, 19min 48sec
Director: Kim Geon

Artist Video

with Lux and Ricardo Matos Cabo

The Island with Striped Sky
Experimental, 1993, 10min
Director: Seoungho Cho
Forward, Back, Side, Forward Again
Experimental, 1995, 10min 41sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Identical Time
Experimental, 1997, 14min 21sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Cold Pieces
Experimental, 1999, 11min 20sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Experimental, 2001, 4min 06sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Orange Factory
Experimental, 2002, 11min 38sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Shifted Horizon
Experimental, 2009, 6min 09sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Latency Contemplation
Experimental, 2016, 6min 20sec
Director: Seoungho Cho
Full of Missing Links
Experimental, 2012, 70min
Director: Soa Sung-a Yoon
Episode 4: Because the Outside World Has Changed..
Experimental, 2016, 8min 20sec
Director: Im Go-eun


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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