LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL 2014 REVIEW – PART 1

The #LKFF, #LKFF2014 OR even #LKFF14 – FIRST Weekend!

…and what a weekend!

KOREAN FILM STARS

This article and therefore weekend begins on Thursday…

But frankly, for @MiniMiniMovies and other founding members of the London Asian Film Society it started way before the official Opening Gala night on Thursday. We were busy promoting it as only we know how.

First up then, was the pre–screening reception drinks, where we were graced with a star or two, a director and producer or few and the Korean Ambassador himself.

After that, the Opening Gala screening itself, ‘Kundo: Age of the Raynes’ – oh sorry, I meant “Kundo: Age of the Rampant” but introduced by a certain Mr Raynes. Yes, the Korean-film-knowledgable Mr Tony Raynes.

Mr Raynes subsequently announced various distinguished guests who were present in the audience:  the aforementioned Ambassador, KCC director, Kabsoo KIM and the all-important Ms Hyejung JEON, without whom there would be no LKFF festival every year. Can you believe that it will be the festival’s 10th year in 2015?!

So, ready for the start of the film? Not quite. My Raynes invited the director, producer and star of “Kundo: Age of the Rampant” up to the stage. Therefore, actor Gang Don-won [swoon, swoon – well, mainly from the ladies, Korean and non-Korean alike], director Yoon Jong-bin and producer Han Jae-duk took turns in speaking. Then?

Yes, the film.

An enjoyable romp, rampage and rioteous affair it was too.  It was good to see actress Kim Kkobbi in it too – a small but integral part.

Directly after the film followed a Q & A, translated AND hosted by the brilliant Seh.

Next? The obligitory – and something which always seems to raise a giggle or two – hand-printing ceremony, so that the ‘lasting impression’ may later reside in the Korean Cultural Centre itself.

Could the evening get any better? Apparently so, for quite a few of us at least. But bless those fans awaiting Mr Gang Don-won to leave the premises. He certainly has his fans here… he’s a Korean heartthrob. However, he was swiftly ushered towards the plush hotel where the post-screening reception was being held. Myself and other members of the press, and a pal or two from our London Asian Film Society had also been invited… so we went. My highlight, a brief conversation with an old friend and one with director July Jung [director/ writer: “A Girl At My Door”] and Lee Jun-dong [producer: “A Girl At My Door”, “Oasis”, “Poetry” and more].

A lovely reception, even if a couple of us were drinking like there was no tomorrow.

Tomorrow?

Thankfully there was a ‘tomorrow’… Friday [obviously].

What happened on Friday? The following…

Apart from a screening of Kim Ki-duk’s “Pieta” – which I didn’t attend as I’ve seen before and purchased a little while ago on iTunes – and the ‘Kundo…” crew repeatung their ‘show’ in Kingston, I had the privelege of atending a brilliant ‘K-Forum’ at the Korean Cultural Centre. The forum was on Film Producing and so had Lee Jun-dong & Han Jae-duk present, as well as translators Seh and Sophia. Furthermore, it was chaired by the well-known, funny and full of cheek, Mr Nik Powell (producer of “The Crying Game” and an important figure at the London Film School. I simply had to ask a question in the Q & A regarding both producers’ early careers. They duly responded.

What did that leave on this finely scheduled day?

“A Girl At My Door”. Indeed I’d witnessed it at the BFI London Film Festival but it simply blew me away so much so that a second screening was craved. Not to mentioned that the screening included a Q & A with director July Jung, producer Lee Jun-dong and BIFF programmer Nam Dong-chul.

The evening was rounded off by an aptly-necessary reception called “HAPPY HOUR”. Well, after that film one certainly needs some happiness.

MiniMiniMovies ensured that he didn’t leave that reception without asking July Jung about her lyric-writing talent. Something I’d spotted in the credits on the first time I’d witnessed the film.

Coming Next:  Saturday and More!