Opening this year on 20th October at ODEON Leicester Square with South Korea’s Academy Award submission THE AGE OF SHADOWS (UK premiere), the London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) will run for 11 days from 20th to 30th October. It will close with Johnnie To’s THREE at Ham Yard Hotel Cinema.

Building on the ‘0th edition’ of last year, this year’s ‘1st edition’ of LEAFF will bring London a much wider, eclectic and diverse programme of 40 films from South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. The screenings will take place at key venues around central London including the iconic Odeon Leicester Square, Curzon Soho, Picturehouse Central, ICA, BFI, Regent Street Cinema as well as local cinemas – Hackney Picturehouse and the Ritzy in Brixton. 

In total, there will be five strands that run throughout the festival; Official Selection, Competition, Retrospective, Stories of Women, and Film Festival Focus. These sections have been carefully curated and programmed by Festival Director Hyejung Jeon, Festival Advisor Roger Garcia (Hong Kong International Film Festival), Ji-seok Kim (Busan International Film Festival) and Programme Consultant Chanel Kong (Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival).




Official LEAFF Selection

In addition to our stellar opening and closing galas, the LEAFF Official Selection will include a strong line up of the very best films from East Asia. Kiyoshi Kurosawa will be back this year presenting his unnerving CREEPY and attending the screening at Curzon Soho; HARMONIUM that won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival will be screened as a UK premiere as part of this section. The screening of omnibus film BEAUTIFUL 2016 by Jia Zhangke, Stanley Kwan, Alec Su and Nakata Hideo exemplifies the cultural diversity behind LEAFF’s philosophy.


Retrospective : Park Chan-wook

This strand aims to give reverence to Asian filmmaking auteurs who have greatly contributed to their field. A retrospective of Director Park Chan-wook’s work will be hosted in partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas. The retrospective opens on the 21st October at Picturehouse Central with Park’s erotic psychological thriller THE HANDMAIDEN. A Q&A with the director will follow this daring adaptation of Sarah Water’s book Fingersmith.

On the following night, Dir. Park will be introducing his VENGEANCE TRILOGY also at Picturehouse Central. He will talk briefly about the films that brought him to fame and introduce the world premiere of LADY VENGEANCEPark’s features and shorts will be shown at Hackney Picturehouse and the Ritzy throughout the week. He will also attend the Screenwriter’s Lecture Series at the BFI organised by the BAFTA.



The Competition Section aims to nurture the new and emerging filmmaking talent of East Asia and provide a platform for their exposure within the UK film industry. One of the key criteria for participating directors is that they will have directed only three feature films or less, and their submission to LEAFF will be judged by our panel of industry experts. Within this section, competition highlights include Malaysian film PEKAK (Kairul Azri Md Noor), Korean film KARAOKE CRAZIES that received the best film award at Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and Filipino film  PAMILYA ORDINARY  (Eduardo Roy Jr).


Stories of Women

In partnership with Regent Street Cinema, LEAFF brings you ‘Stories of Women’. LEAFF is led by a female festival director and recognises the importance of showing narratives driven by a central female role. A selection of films from East Asia that tell the stories of women from different generations will be featured in the festival, opening with THE WORLD OF US directed by Yoon Ga-eun that was nominated for the Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale, followed by HEE by Japanese actress and director Kaori Momoi.

This selection is curated in association with the Pan Asian Women’s Association (PAWA), and features some of the best emerging and established filmmakers in East Asia today, including Cho Jung-lae, who directed SPIRITS’ HOMECOMINGa crowd-sourced South Korean film about ‘Comfort Women’ during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1943. There will be a seminar regarding the film as well as the issue of ‘comfort women’ at SOAS. Also, the film will be screened again at Showroom Workstation in Sheffield to meet with more audience outside London.


Film Festival Focus

Running as an annual strand, LEAFF will collaborate with Asian film festivals with a view to bridging the cultural gap between East and West. This year, LEAFF is partnered with Jeonju International Film Festival, and its Programmer Lee Sang-yong will be attending LEAFF to introduce this section. Films include BREATHING UNDERWATER by Koh Heeyoung and Ryu Hoon’s thespian comedy CURTAIN CALL, which raises surprising questions about the meaning of art.




Message from Festival Director

Hye-jung Jeon, Director of The London East Asia Film Festival commented, “The London East Asia Film Festival aims to introduce Asian films that direct the audience to really understand the culture. It will focus on the filmmakers’ perspectives through conversations instead of showing Asian cinema merely as a variation from European and American films. Also, this festival can achieve greater communication with the audience than festivals dedicated to a single country. I hope the people of London discover the distinction and individuality between different countries within East Asia.”



ODEON Leicester Square, 24-26 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LQ

Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 5DY

Picturehouse Central, Corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly, London W1D 7DH

Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London, E8 1HE

Ritzy Cinema, Brixton Oval, Brixton, SW2 1JG

Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW

Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT










The 1st London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) runs from 20th-30th October 2016. The festival presents a collection of feature films including European and UK premieres. Screenings are supplemented by guest appearances by filmmakers, actors, critics and academics who will partake in Q&A sessions following most screenings. LEAFF is generously supported by main sponsors- Hyundai Motors, Corinthia Hotel, British Airways, and the City of Jeonju.

LEAFF aims to champion the growing collaboration and diversity in East Asian filmmaking. LEAFF’s philosophy marks a shift in the cinematic landscape of East Asia, and moves away from cultural and cinematic borders. Its vision is to showcase East Asian culture in the UK and provide a point of access for those interested in the region.


ABOUT Festival Director Hyejung Jeon

Prior to LEAFF, Hyejung Jeon previously programmed and directed the London Korean Film Festival for 9 years. She has organised extensive festivals in other arts sectors including music, performance and fashion. She is the founder of the K-Music Festival and K-pop Academy. To introduce Korean cinema in the UK, she organised a retrospective of works by director Hong Sang-soo with the ICO touring around 20 cities. She has also collaborated with the BFI for a retrospective of director Im Kwon-taek’s films.

Furthermore, she has invited representative figures of Korean cinema including director Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, Kim Jee-woon, Choi Dong-hoon, and Ryoo Seung-wan to provide opportunities to meet with the London audience. Collaborating with film schools in the UK, she organised visits for key filmmakers from Korea to give talks to students. For 8 years, she organised free Korean film nights which included a ‘Year of 12 Directors’, a ‘Year of 4 Actors’ and a ‘Year of 4 Filmmakers’. At present, she is the Director of the London East Asia Film Festival which she founded. She was awarded for the contribution to Korean cinema by Bom Film Productions with the recommendation of Korean directors and actors. Working closely with UK distribution companies, she continues to provide a platform for introducing Asian cinema to local audience.




For more information on LEAFF, please visit: http://www.leaff.org.uk/

For further press information please contact Katy Kim at press@leaff.org.uk



< Official LEAFF Selection >

The Age of Shadows | Odeon Leicester Square, Screen 1 | Thursday 20th October 19:30 | Q&A

Three | Ham Yard Hotel | Sunday 30th October 19:00 | Q&A

The Map Against the World | Curzon Soho, Screen 1 | Saturday 22nd October 18:00 | Q&A

Tunnel | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Sunday 23rd October 14:45 | Q&A

Creepy | Curzon Soho, Screen 1 | Sunday 23rd October 20:45 | Q&A

Beautiful 2016 | Curzon Soho, Screen 1 | Monday 24th October 15:30

Harmonium | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Monday 24th October 20:30 | UK Premiere

Nessun Dorma | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Saturday 29th October 15:30

Bangkok Nites | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Sunday 30th October 14:45



< Retrospective : Park Chan-wook >

The Handmaiden | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1 | Friday 21st October 18:30 | Q&A

BAFTA Screening Writing Seminar with Park Chan-wook + Night Fishing | BFI, Screen 1 | Saturday 22nd October 13:30 | Q&A

Sympathy for Mr Vengeance + Old Boy + Lady Vengeance | Picturehouse Central, Screen 2 | Saturday 22nd October 18:00 | Intro

Stoker + Day Trip | Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 3 | Wednedays 26th October 18:30

Joint Security Area (JSA) | The Ritzy Picturehouse, Screen 2 | Friday 28th October 18:30

Thirst + Judgement | The Ritzy Picturehouse, Screen 2 | Saturday 29th October 18:30

I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay + Bitter, Sweet, Seoul | Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 3 | Sunday 30th October 18:30




< Competition >

Pamilya Ordinary | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Friday 21st October 20:45

A Yellow Bird | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Tuesday 25th October 20:30

The World of Us | Regent Street Cinema | Wednesday 26th October 18:30 | Q&A

By The Time It Gets Dark | Regent Street Cinema | Wednesday 26th October 20:45

Karaoke Crazies | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Saturday 29th October 15:00 |Q&A

Pekak | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Friday 28th October 20:45

Familyhood | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Sunday 23th October 18:00 | Q&A

The Laundryman | Curzon Bloomsbury, screen 5 | Saturday 29th October 20:45



< Stories of Women >

The World of Us | Regent Street Cinema | Wednesday 26th October 18:30 | Q&A

By The Time It Gets Dark | Regent Street Cinema | Wednesday 26th October 20:45

Hee | Regent Street Cinema | Thursday 27th October 18:30 | Q&A

Spirits’ Homecoming | Regent Street Cinema | Thursday 27th October 20:30 | European Premiere | Q&A in association with PAWA

Spirits’ Homecoming | SOAS | Friday 28th October 17:00 | Q&A

Spirits’ Homecoming | Sheffield Showroom | Saturday 29th October 15:30 | Q&A




< Film Festival Focus >

Worst Woman | ICA Cinema, Screen 1 | Saturday 22nd October 10:00 | Q&A

Curtain Call | ICA Cinema, Screen 1 | Sunday 23rd October 10:00 | Introduction

Breathing Underwater | ICA Cinema, Screen 1 | Saturday 29th October 10:00 




< Special Spotlight >

Midnight Diner – Tokyo Stories – | Curzon Soho, Screen 3 | Tuesday 25th October 18:00 | Panel Discussion