The London Korean Film Festival returns for 2020 in an unprecedented digital edition bringing some of the best in contemporary Korean cinema to homes across the UK along with a few select physical cinema screenings in London. This year’s Special Focus is dedicated to Friends and Family reminding us of our essential connections as we continue to face the effects of the pandemic.
- Pawn – tearjerking dramedy from Kang Dae-kyu in which a debt collector (Sung Dong-Il) becomes the accidental guardian of a little girl when her mother offers her up as collateral on a loan but is then deported for being an undocumented migrant.
- Bori – the only hearing member of her family, Bori struggles with the idea of difference as she tries to adjust to communicating verbally at school eventually wishing that she too were deaf.
Special Focus: Friends and Family
- Family Ties – tripartite family comedy from 2006 following two unusual family units which eventually merge.
- The Happy Life – 2007 musical drama from Lee Joon-ik in which former members of a college band decide to reform after the lead singer dies.
- Juvenile Offender – 2012 drama from Kang Yi-Kwan in which a 16-year-old delinquent reunites with the estranged mother who gave him up at birth.
- Intimate Strangers – Korean remake of the international hit Perfect Strangers in which a collection of respectable bourgeois couples have their lives upended after they agree to share all their mobile communications during the course of a dinner party. Review.
- Moving On – moving coming-of-age drama in which a little girl and her brother move in with grandpa in the wake of their parents’ divorce.
- Vertigo – an office worker suffering existential vertigo is comforted by the presence of a fearless window cleaner. Review.
- Jesters: The Game Changers – Joseon-era street entertainers get into trouble for spreading fake news in a period drama from The Grand Heist’s Kim Joo-ho.
- Ashfall – A bomb disposal expert with a baby on the way is dragged into a covert mission to the North when Mt. Baekdu suddenly erupts in Lee Hae-jun & Kim Byung-seo’s starry disaster movie. Review.
- Me and Me – directorial debut from actor Jung Jin-young in which a policeman wakes up one day to discover he’s someone else. Review.
- The Woman Who Ran – the latest from Hong Sang-soo starring Kim Min-hee as a married woman taking a solo vacation to visit old friends.
- An Old Lady – hard hitting drama in which a 69-year-old woman struggles to get justice after she is raped by a nurse at a hospital.
- Gull – a middle-aged woman faces social ostracisation while seeking justice after being raped by an influential co-worker.
- Eul-hwa – Byeon Jang-ho drama from 1979 based on a famous story in which a shamaness finds herself at the mercy of changing times and at odds with her son who has converted to Christianity.
- Divine Bow – Im Kwon-taek’s 1979 drama starring Yoon Jeong-hee as a former shamaness who gave up her practice after a traumatic incident.
- Daughter of Fire – Im Kwon-taek drama from 1983 in which a man from a shamanistic background who married a Christian is visited by his mother in his dreams.
- My Own Breathing – final instalment in a trilogy of films featuring testimony from former comfort women.
- Itaewon – documentary following three women living in Itaewon
- Underdog – a collection of stray dogs finds a place without humans where they are free to become themselves in this charming family animation.
Bong Joon-ho Shorts
The festival will also be showcasing a series of rarely seen early short films from Parasite director Bong Joon-ho.
- Incoherence – 1994 student short
- Influenza – 30-minute short from 2004 shot in front of real CCTV cameras in Seoul.
- Some Light? – 2009 short directed by Kang Dae-hee featuring Bong in a rare acting appearance.
The London Korean Film Festival runs 29th October to 12th November online across the UK and in London cinemas. Full details for all the films as well as screening times and ticketing information will be available shortly via the official website and you can keep up with all the latest news by following the festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.