Here it is, here it is, hear me jump with joy! The 2nd London East Asia Film Festival has announced its programme and it looks amazing! LEAFF’s successful previous edition has led to its second year, and the festival is getting more and more attention. The 2nd LEAFF will run from 19th to 29th of October in London and it will showcase the best of the best of Asian cinema, including productions from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and many more. This year, ODEON Leicester Square will host the opening night of Hwang Dong-hyuk’s period drama The Fortress, starring two of the most prestigious South Korean actors – Lee Byung-hun and Kim Yoon-seok. The festival will close with the tension-packed Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Coda. What’s more exciting about 2nd LEAFF is that the Festival Director Jeon Hye-jung brought something new to the festival… but let’s start at the beginning.

The London East Asia Film Festival has been split into several sections: Official Competition includes The Fortress by Hwang Dong-hyuk, Outrage Coda by Takeshi Kitano, Anarchist From Colony by Lee Joon-ik, Walking Past the Future by Li Ruijun, Battleship Island (Director’s Cut) by Ryoo Seung-wan, Reset by Chang, One Day by Banjong Pisanthanakun, Have A Nice Day by Liu Jian, V.I.P. by Park Hoon-jung, Bhoy Intsik by Joel Lamangan and Love Off the Cuff by Pang Ho-cheung. The Stories of Women – one of my favourite LEAFF sections – will present productions such as The Table by Kim Jong-kwan, Jane by Cho Hyun-hoon (whom we interviewed during Busan International Film Festival last year), Small Talk by Huang Hui-chen and The Receptionist by Jenny Lu. The festival’s line-up already looks promising, right?

Apart from the aforementioned LEAFF selections, the audience will also get a chance to watch some exciting films from Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Now and Then) with – in my opinion – one of the most gripping and tense works from Herman Yau: Shock Wave. This year’s festival will put emphasis on the intriguing South Korean cinema with the “Fantastic Film” Festival Focus, including I’ll Just Live In Bando by Lee Yongsun, The End Of April by Kim Kwang-bok, The End by Jeon Kyu-hwan, 50 by Cha Inpyo, Light My Fire by Namkoong Min, 2 Nights 3 Days by Cho Eunji and Adlip – Improvisation by Hee Joonseok – the last four being short films.

There will also be something for those who are interested in Japanese Cinema –Retrospective: Japanese Cinema. If you are a fan of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hirokazu Koreeda, this section is for you! The Competition part of the LEAFF is also promising; it comprises hits from 2016-2017, from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, China and Malaysia.

Last but not least comes a pleasant surprise for anime fans: The Centenary of Japanese Animation with four films! As you can see, the 2nd London East Asia Film Festival will be a huge event, hosted in a several cinemas across London; apparently, there will be a concert on the menu too. You should also take note that there will be 10 renowned Asian film directors and 7 actors coming to LEAFF! I am already over the moon! Don’t miss your chance and check the official website of the festival for more information, and you can also follow LEAFF on Facebook!

Written by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Sanja Struna
All photos © Courtesy of films’ production companies / distributor
The article was originally published on September 12, 2017 on

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About viewofkoreancinema

Maggie Gogler is a freelance film producer, production manager and she also works with children. She has a passion for Korean and World Cinema as well as music and arts. Maggie has been interested in cinema since she was 15 and discovered love for Korean films in 2004 when she saw Kim Ki Duk’s The Isle. She supports British and Asian independent film-making and enjoys producing creative and interesting projects. Maggie is the co-founder of View of the Arts and its sister website View of Korean Cinema. Sanja Struna is a freelance translator, occasional writer and a perpetual dreamer. Film is her first and longest-lasting love; since writing is her second, she saw the light a couple of years ago, let the two join hands and entered the field of film journalism. She has honed her knowledge through various film festivals which she either worked for or frequented. She is currently harboring a fascination with all things Korean and condones losing sleep if that means she can watch a good Korean film or drama. Sanja is the editor of View of the Arts and co-founder of View of Korean Cinema.


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