Taking place from 23 to 25 October 2015 at Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon Covent Garden and Odeon Panton Street, this initial pre-launch edition of the new London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) will offer a small, selective showcase of major titles from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, and Southeast Asia.
The first edition of the London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) will open with Korean box-office breaker VETERAN on Friday 23 October at Odeon Leicester Square; this Opening Night Gala will welcome top Korean director Ryoo Seung- wan and producer Kang Hye-jung to present the film.
The festival will close with Soi Cheang’s organ transplant actioner SPL 2 – A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES, a Chinese- Hong Kong collaboration featuring muay thai superstar Tony Jaa.
LEAFF’s festival director, Hye-jung Jeon (former director of the London Korean Film Festival) worked closely with Chris Fujiwara, former artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, to carefully curate the very best of East Asia’s latest cinema for London’s film scene.
The years 2016 and beyond will see bigger programmes with 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 drawn from the region. 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.
An annual festival, LEAFF will showcase East Asian filmmaking from both emerging and established directors and will give audiences the chance to interact with directors and stars.
Two film festival advisors, Kim Ji-seok from Busan International Film festival and Roger Garcia from Hong Kong International Film Festival, advised 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.
Mrs Hye-jung Jeon, Director of The London East Asia Film Festival commented “The London East Asia Film Festival aims to introduce Asian films that directs the audience to really understand the culture. It will focus on the filmmakers’ perspective through conversations and not simply show Asian cinema that is a variation from European films. Also, this festival can achieve greater communication with the audience than festivals dedicated to a single country. I hope the people of London discover the distinction and individuality between different countries within East Asia.”
Mr Chris Fujiwara, Chief programmer said: “Around the world, Asian film festivals attract audiences in ever greater numbers, proving the excitement and enthusiasm that surround the films, the heritage, and the contemporary cultures of East and Southeast Asia. I look forward to welcoming the UK public on what promises to be a continuously unfolding and unpredictable cinematic adventure.”