London Korean Film Festival – 2012

Korean movie Posters

with ‘Press Release + Full Listing’


Taking a break from filming for my SouthKoreaDocumentary [and @_dOKumENtARy], and having returned from South Korea less than 3 weeks ago I find myself far from relaxing and instead in the thick of all things Korean. Or, to be more specific ‘all things Korean FILM’.

Since landing in the UK I’ve caught the tail end of the BFI London Film Festival (which contained many Korean films this year), the mini season and retrospective of Im Kwon-taek films at both the ICA and KCC, & now it’s the ultra busy time of attending many, many of the LKFF movies! This is without the extra events, talks, Q & A’s and the interviewing of the aforementioned Mr Im Kwon-taek which have also taken place.

But it was yesterday’s Opening Night of the London Korean Film Festival 2012 which not only blew me away but made we want to spread the word even more about this giant & growing yearly event.

You see, although this was my 3rd year present at any part of the LKFF, this year’s Opening Night stands out! The atmosphere, the film & more! I only wish I’d attended for those other years – this is it’s 7th year after all. However, legend has it – or rather the brilliant LondonKoreanLinks does! – that it’s been running longer than that, just perhaps not arranged by the Korean Cultural Centre.

For all whom I met last night, old and new, it was a fabulous time had… by me, and I’d say all who were present!

Whether you were there last night or not I truly hope you can attend one, or more of the 40+ films being screened right up until the 3rd weekend in November.

Here is the Press Release, followed by the screenings, venues & times. Thanks to the already mentioned London Korean Links and of course the Korean Cultural Centre, London. Also, I believe thanks are due to Hangul Celluloid – Not only was this site first up with the running order and related details, it was also responsible for providing further details on the film genres and running times.



Korean Film
Set against the backdrop of a London Tube seat, how apt. Picture courtesy of Paul Quinn (Hangul Celluloid)


The 7th London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) returns 1 – 16 November 2012 with its annual showcase of the very best Korean films, UK premieres and events.

The 2012 Festival brought to you by the Korean Cultural Centre UK presents its widest and most diverse programme of films to date as they build upon the recent successes of ‘All Eyes On Korea: 100 Day Festival of Korean Culture’.

Ranging from gritty mystery thrillers to comedies and family animation films, and from art house gems to period dramas and sports films, the festival takes place in London (1 – 11th Nov) at the Odeon West End and ICA cinemas, and is on tour nationally (from 10th – 16th Nov) at the Glasgow Grosvenor Cinema, Bristol Cube and the Bournemouth Odeon.

The opening night Gala 1 Nov (Odeon West End), kicks off with the European premiere of the Korean box office ‘heist’ smash hit, The Thieves. Director Choi Dong-hoon and lead actor Kim Yoon-suk (who starred in the cult hit, The Yellow Sea) will join the premiere and take part in a Director’s Q&A after the screening all of which will be followed by a Gala Reception.

The festival closes with another box office hit, the European premiere of historical drama Masquerade 10th Nov (Odeon West End), followed by a Q&A with lead actor Lee Byunghun (star of I Saw The Devil), who is currently in London shooting Red 2 with Bruce Willis and Anthony Hopkins.

Other highlights from the festival programme include a wide range of cinematic delights in the following K-categories:

K-Art House programme: Sleepless night is the story of the everyday fears of a couple about to celebrate their 2nd anniversary; White Night is the story inspired by an actual case of a homophobic hate crime. Mise-En-Scene shorts include a range of short films selected by Korea’s prestigious Mise En Scene Film Festival including Foreest, Keep Quiet, Noodle Fish,Poison Frog. The Weight is a darkly surreal film about a hunchback mortician and his transgender brother that won the Queer Lion prize at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.

K-Spotlight: A Muse, Black Eagle, The Ugly Duckling A Muse is the story of a renowned old poet LEE Jeok-yo (PARK) who has adopted an untalented but devoted student, the young novelist SEO Ji-woo (KIM Moo-yul), as his protege. Their relationship is a complicated one, equal parts love and hate, admiration and criticism. In Black Eagle (Korean title: R2B: Return to Base) a South Korean Elite Black Eagles Air Force pilot Tae-hun finds himself transferred to a combat flying unit after a cocky, unplanned, and dangerous air show demonstration. The Ugly Duckling is a comic drama based on Director KWAK’s true story when serving in the military in 1987 revealing some of the abuses that still took place at this time.

K-Sports: Inspired by the Korean success at the Olympics this summer, K-sports celebrates sports on screen with 3 popular features: A Barefoot Dream sees a prominent football player come businessman spread his love of football to poverty-stricken children; As One follows the first ever unified Korean table tennis team in the world championships in 1991; and Pace Maker, the story of a young man who has to decide whether becoming an Olympian is worth the sacrifice of never running again.

K-Pop: It’s official, after last year’s LKFF’s sold out opening Concert, ‘SHINee In London’, the UK has clearly embraced Kpop. This year LKFF is proud to present films that detail the blood, sweat and tears that go into such a popular phenomenon. I Am. is a coming of age tale that follows popular artists from SM Town production house as they prepare to perform at Madison Square Gardens; Mr. Idol follows the beginnings of a boy band as they pursue their dream to become popstar idols but the path to success never runs smooth. Further K-POP inspired film include Acoustic (2010)and Papa (2012).

K-Comedy: Dancing Queen is the story of a pop star come wife of a political candidate; Dangerously Excited is by Director Jaemoon Yoon (Dir of The Good, The Bad, the Weird 2008), and tells the story of a public officer’s life changing experience after meeting an indie rock band; Everything about my Wife is a light hearted look at a couple’s relationship and the lengths a man may go to escape his wife.

K-Mystery: Deranged is the story of a gruesome parasite that causes a national emergency, directed and written by Park Jeong-woo; Gabi set towards the end of the 19th century, sees King Gojong (PARK) seek refuge with the Russian Consulate as the threat of a foreign invasion overwhelms Korea. Here he meets the beautiful Tanya (KIM) who becomes his personal barista. Tanya becomes involved in a dangerous social circle and with her intimate connection to the King; she must whose side she is on.

K-Period Drama: Set 250 years ago in the Chosun Dynasty, The Grand Heist tells the tale of tyranny and how a young man’s life is turned upside down by tyranny, Lee seeking revenge plans the downfall of those who have harmed him; I am a King is the story of a slave is suddenly transformed into a prince and how a prince somehow ends up being a slave.

K-Animation: The King of Pigs is the darkly acclaimed animation that screened at Cannes Director’s Fortnight; it tells a dark tale of a group of kids reign of terror in high school.

Directrospective: The High Rollers, Woochi, the Big Swindle by Dir. Choi Dong-Hoon In honour of Director Choi’s opening of the London Korean Film Festival 2012, we will the LKFF proudly present a Directrospective featuring a further 3 of his most popular and successful films. These include the Gambling Action Drama, The High Rollers, The Action/Comedy fantasy Woochi and the Crime Thriller The Big Swindle by Dir. Choi Dong-Hoon Running Turtle sees Kim Yoon-suk as a notoriously bad gambling cop, who turns good in the hunt for a cunning fugitive.

K-Events: The LKFF are proud to launch their Korean Film Archive located at the KCCUK, housing over 2,800 films and materials, for the public to access for free.

LKFF are also inviting 3 Korean film specialists to participate in the annual Korean Cinema Forum to be held at KCCUK with a number of UK based Korean enthusiasts.

For fans of Korean cinema who are not in London a selection of festival highlights will be available at cinemas in Glasgow, Bristol, Bournemouth and Kingston Upon Thames during the festival.


The LKFF 2012 Programme – Full Listing

Screenings in London and Kingston

Thu 1st

7:00pm Opening Gala: The Thieves + Q&A: Dir. Choi Dong-hoon & Actor Kim Yoon-suk (2012 Crime caper)

135mins / Odeon WE

Fri 2nd

6:45pm Pace Maker (Kim Dal-joong 2012, Sports drama)

124mins / ICA

7:00pm The Thieves + Q&A: Dir. Choi Dong-hoon & Actor Kim Yoon-suk (2012 Crime caper)

135mins / Odeon Kingston

7:00pm The Big Swindle (Choi Dong-hoon 2004, Crime caper)

116mins / KCCUK

9:15pm The Weight (Jeon Kyu-hwan 2012, drama)

121mins / ICA

Sat 3rd

3:30pm Katuri: A Story of a Mother Bird (Jung Gil-hoon 2012, animation)

28mins / ICA

4:30pm Woochi + Q&A: Dir. Choi Dong-hoon (Action / fantasy)

136mins / KCCUK

6:30pm Padak (Lee Dae-hee 2012, animation)

78mins / ICA

8:30pm The King of Pigs (Yean Sang-ho 2011, animation)

97mins / ICA

Sun 4th

12:30pm Dancing Queen (Lee Seok-hoon 2012, music drama)

124mins / ICA

2:30pm Running Turtle (Lee Yeon-woo 2009, crime) + Q&A: Actor Kim Yoon-suk

117mins / KCCUK

5:35pm Mr Idol (Ra Hee-chan 2011, music drama)

114mins / ICA

7:30pm Tazza – The High Rollers (Choi Dong-hoon 2006, Crime caper)

139mins / Odeon PS

8:00pm Mise en Scene – Selection 1 (five shorts)

132mins / ICA

Mon 5th

6:30pm Papa (Han Ji-seung 2012, music comedy)

118mins / Odeon PS

8:45pm Black Eagle (Kim Dong-weon, 2012, Top Gun style drama)

113mins / Odeon PS

Tue 6th

A Muse + Q&A with Director Jeong Ji-woo (Drama)

129mins / ICA

8:45pm Dangerously Excited (Koo Ja-hong 2012, Comedy)

101mins / Odeon PS

Wed 7th

6:30pm Gabi (Jang Yoon-hyeon 2012, historical mystery)

101mins / Odeon PS

8:10pm I am (Choi Jin-seong 2012, K-popumentary)

116mins / ICA

8:45pm All about my wife (Min Kyu-dong 2012, comedy)

121mins / Odeon PS

Thu 8th

5:45pm The Ugly Duckling (Kwak Kyung-taek 2012, military drama)

96mins / ICA

6:40pm The Grand Heist (Kim Joo-ho 2012, period crime caper)

121mins / Odeon PS

8:45pm Deranged (Park Jun-woo 2012 SF mystery)

109mins / Odeon PS

Fri 9th

6:00pm White Night (Lee Song-hee-il 2012, melodrama)

78mins / ICA

7:00pm I am the King (Jang Kyu-sung 2012, period comedy drama)

120mins / Odeon PS

6:30pm Korean Cinema Forum

90mins / KCCUK

8:45pm As One, Korea (Moon Hyeong-seong 2012, sporting drama)

127mins / Odeon PS

Sat 10th

3:35pm Mise en Scene 2 (four shorts)

120mins / Odeon PS

7:00pm Closing Gala: Masquerade + Q&A wtih Dir Choo Chang-min & actor Lee Byung-hun (period drama)

131mins / Odeon WE

Sun 11th

1:30pm A Barefoot Dream (Kim Tae-gyoon 2010, sporting drama)

121mins / Odeon PS

4:15pm Acoustic (Yoo Sang-hun 2010, music drama)

88mins / ICA

6:30pm Sleepless Night (Jang Kun-hae 2012, drama)

65mins / ICA

8:30pm Spring Snow (Kim Tae-gyoon 2012, melodrama)

109mins / ICA


Screenings in Glasgow

Sat 10th

2:00pm Padak (Lee Dae-hee 2012, animation)

78mins / Grosvenor

8:30pm Dancing Queen (Lee Seok-hoon 2012, music drama) 124mins Grosvenor

Sun 11th

8:30pm As One, Korea (Moon Hyeong-seong 2012, sporting drama)

127mins / Grosvenor

Mon 12th

8:30pm A Muse (Jeong Ji-woo 2012 Drama)

129mins / Grosvenor


Screenings in Bristol

Tue 13th

8:00pm The King of Pigs (Yean Sang-ho 2012, animation)

97mins / Bristol Cube

Wed 14th

5:30pm I am the King (Jang Kyu-sung 2012, period comedy drama)

120mins / Bristol Cube

8:00pm White Night (Lee Song-hee-il 2012, melodrama)

78mins / Bristol Cube


Screenings in Bournemouth

Thu 15th

6:30pm Sleepless Night (Jang Kun-hae 2012, drama)

65mins / Odeon

8:45pm Deranged (Park Jun-woo 2012 SF mystery)

109mins / Odeon

Fri 16th

3:00pm Black Eagle (Kim Dong-weon, 2012, Top Gun style drama)

113mins / Odeon



That’s all Folks!

I’ll leave you with the fabulous trailer for the LKFF!