London Korean Film Festival Celebrates Old, New and Kang Soo-youn

Next month’s London Korean Film Festival cloaks itself in a panoply of the country’s recent cinema, with a mix of commercial blockbusters, festival titles and documentaries. The long-running event also pays tribute to Kang Soo-youn, the performer who was the first Korean to win a best acting award in Venice and who died in May this year.

The event runs from Nov. 3 – 17, 2022 in venues across London and comprises 35 films. It opens with a previously announced screening of “Alienoid.”

The Cinema Now section includes: Jeong Ji-yeon’s psychological thriller “The Anchor”; Davy Chou’s “Return To Seoul,” which premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard; Byun Sung-hyun’s “Kingmaker”; “Hot Blooded,” the long-awaited directorial debut by acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Cheon Myeong-kwan; nostalgic road chase movie “Stellar: A Magical Ride”; “Director’s Intention,” by Kim Min-geun.

A special screening goes to “Broker,” the Kore-Ede Hirokazu-directed light drama that opened in competition in Cannes in May. The film earned Song Kang-ho (“Parasite,” “The Host”) the festival’s best actor award. The screening is followed by a Q&A with the film’s translator and former Variety contributor Darcy Paquet.

Elsewhere, other highlights include a gala screening of “Hansan: Rising Dragon,” Kim Han-min’s follow up to 2014’s “The Admiral: Roaring Currents,” a naval warfare blockbuster that remains the top earning Korean film of all time. “Roaring Currents” also plays as a special screening.

Another older title, “The Thieves,” starring Lee Jung-jae, plays as part of the LKFF collaboration with the V&A exhibition Hallyu! The Korean Wave.

Female filmmakers and talent continue feature prominently with a selection including Kim Jung-eun’s “Gyeong-ah’s Daughter”; Byun Gyu-ri’s “Coming To You,” about two mothers coming to terms with their children’s sexuality; Bae Cyan’s auto-fiction documentary “Dear Chaemin”; Yang Yoon-jung’s school drama “Special Scholarship” which deals with fierce politics among students of different demographics; Jeon Chae-lin’s “Dear Kimsisters” and “Nipple War 3,” by Paek Siwon.

The Kang Soo-youn tribute section includes her breakout role in Im Kwon-taek’s “The Surrogate Woman” from 1987; “Come Come Come Upward,” for which she won an award at the 1989 Moscow International Film Festival; “The Road To The Race Track”; comedy “Girls’ Night Out”; and Rainbow Trout which won the special jury prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2000.

Kim Dong-ho, co-founder and former chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, and director of the Korean Film Archive, Kim Hong-joon will participate in a forum event dedicated to Kang and the Korea cinema landscape of her era. Kang was also the co-director of the Busan festival from 2015-2017.

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