The London Korean Film Festival Reveals It’s 2020 Line Up

The way forward for now in getting film out, is going online. Tonight The London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) reveals its milestone 15th edition programme and it will be going digital.

The 2020 edition will take  place from 29 October until  12 November the festival, with 30+ films available online to audiences across the UK. It’s not all digital  there will be a selection of special cinema screenings taking place in London. Sharing its annual celebration of Korean cinema with fans all over the UK.

Fans of Korean cinema have known for a long time about the quality it’ delivered over the years. Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite has shown the global spotlight even more on Korean cinema like never before. The LKFF will showcase a typically eclectic programme featuring the year’s biggest box-office hits, independent cinema, retrospective screenings of Korean classics, animation, documentary, award winning shorts, Women’s Voices (championing women filmmakers) and more. Including a chance to enjoy some of director Bong’s early shorts for the first time in the UK, such as Incoherence (1994), and Influenza (2004) .

The Opening Gala on 29 October the LKFF is proud to present the European Premiere of Kang Dae Kyu ‘s comedy-inflected tear-jerker Pawn (2019), which revolves around a familial bond that forms from the most unlikely of relationships. Sung Dong-il (Metamorphosis) and Kim Hiewon (The Merciless) star as a pair of tough loan sharks who take a nine-year-old girl from her illegal immigrant mother as collateral over an unpaid debt. 

The Closing Gala, playing on 12 November, will be the UK Premiere of Kim Jinyu’s Bori (2018), which also focuses on familial bonds, this time exploring the themes of disability and difference through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl. As the only hearing member of a deaf family, young Bori notices the joyful signed communication between her parents and her younger brother. Struggling with feeling left out, Bori wishes that she too was deaf, and tries to achieve her goal with the help of her best friend, with sweet, humorous and moving results.

The highlights from all the festival strands include The Special Focus: Friends and Family strand will feature the UK Premiere of director Yoon Dan-bi’s coming-of-age drama Moving On (2019). The award winning story of a teenage girl moving into the home of her elderly grandfather along with her younger brother, cash-strapped father and soon-to-be-divorced aunt. Exploring the complex, changing relationships with wit and warmth.

The Cinema Now strand is a showcase for the best contemporary titles to have been released in the past year, such as Korea’s leading auteur Hong Sangsoo, The Woman Who Ran (English Premiere, 2019) .The film garnered the prestigious Silver Bear Award at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. The directorial debut of actor, and star of The Happy Life, Jung Jinyoung is the enigmatic genre-bending mystery Me & Me (European Premiere, 2019), which recently picked up two Jury Special Mentions at the Fantasia International Film Festival.  Epic action is on the cards in explosive blockbuster Ashfall (2019) from directing duo Lee Hae Jun and Kim Byung Seo. Ha Jung Woo (The Handmaiden) leads the cast as a bomb disposal expert tasked with the dangerous mission of heading into North Korea to rescue an imprisoned double agent, played by superstar Lee Byung Hun (I Saw the Devil), and blow up a volcano in order to prevent a subterranean explosion that threatens the whole country, while Train to Busan tough-guy Ma Dong Seok controls the action back at base.

Women’s Voices celebrates the work of women filmmakers and gives a platform to challenging, thought-provoking works that bring timely issues to the fore. This year is no exception, Kim Mi-jo’s Gull (UK Premiere, 2020) finds a market vendor, Obok, drunkenly assaulted by a fellow vendor who wields a position of power as chairman of the market’s redevelopment project. Unable to move on from her ordeal and with her anger rising, Obok reports the crime, only to find fellow vendors and even family members turn against her.

The London Korean Film Festival 2020 will run from 29 October until 12 November. For full line up and to book tickets head over to koreanfilm.co.uk