SCREEN GUIDE: LONDON EAST ASIA FILM FESTIVAL 2017

The LONDON EAST ASIA FILM FESTIVAL (LEAFF) opened on 19 OCT and runs at venues across London until 29 OCT 2017. Here’s our SCREEN GUIDE.

LEAFF17: MIND GAME screens at The London Film School (26 OCT).
LEAFF17: MIND GAME screens at The London Film School (26 OCT).

There’s a week left of the London East Asia Film Festival 2017 (19 to 29 OCT) which means the bulk of the action is yet to come. Only in its second full year, LEAFF (as it likes to be known) focuses on collaboration across borders, cultures and disciplines. Over 10 days the festival projects a mostly contemporary programme from more than 10 countries. Venues include some of our favourites: Regent Street Cinema, Rich Mix and Picturehouse Central.

BIG TOP ATTRACTIONS

PROGRAMME strands include OFFICIAL SELECTION, COMPETITION, STORIES OF WOMENHONG KONG: NOW & THEN, ‘FANTASTIC FILM’, THE CENTENARY OF JAPANESE ANIMATION, and RETROSPECTIVE: JAPANESE CINEMA.

We really like the look of the following.

LEAFF17: HAVE A NICE DAY screens at Picturehouse Central (25 OCT).
LEAFF17: HAVE A NICE DAY screens at Picturehouse Central (25 OCT).

ANIMATION

We don’t often get the chance to focus on animation at RADIANT CIRCUS so will be lapping up the opportunity to do so here. Festival strand THE CENTURY OF JAPANESE ANIMATION includes CLEOPATRA (22 OCT 19:00 Picturehouse Central) – a bonkers take about “three intergalactic travellers from the distant future are whisked back to the court of the ancient Egyptian queen by time machine” – and MIND GAME (26 OCT 18:00 London Film School) – a psychedelic tale of one night in the life of Nishi, a comic book artist.

Elsewhere, the OFFICIAL SELECTION includes HAVE A NICE DAY (25 OCT 21:00 Picturehouse Central) – a film “filled with sparkling, Tarantino-esque dialogue” – whilst the festival’s focus on ‘FANTASTICAL FILM’ includes I’LL JUST LIVE IN BANDO (29 OCT 14:30 Odeon Tottenham Court Road) about an unemployed actor who gets two competing job offers on one day.

LEAFF17: SMALL TALK screens at Regent Street Cinema (24 OCT).
LEAFF17: SMALL TALK screens at Regent Street Cinema (24 OCT).

STORIES OF WOMEN

Four films about the lives of women from across East Asia screen at the UK’s home of moving pictures, Regent Street Cinema. Choose from THE TABLE (23 OCT 18:30 also at Rich Mix 25 OCT 18:30 – both with a cast & crew Q&A), JANE (23 OCT 20:30) – about young homeless girl So-Hyun’s relationship with Jane, an eccentric transgender woman – and SMALL TALK (24 OCT 18:00) – a documentary about director Huang Hui-chen’s conversations with her hard-working mother. THE RECEPTIONIST (24 OCT) is already SOLD OUT.

LEAFF17: GREAT ERA screens at Empire Haymarket (23 OCT).
LEAFF17: GREAT ERA screens at Empire Haymarket (23 OCT).

TALKS

Head to the Empire Haymarket for VIRTUAL REALITY MUSEUM (MON 23 OCT 18:30), an evening of six artists’ films from China presented by The Art Of This Century and the dslcollection. Artists include Qui Anxiong (THE NEW BOOK OF MOUNTAINS & SEAS), Zhang Ding (GREAT ERA), Miao Xiaochun (MICROCOSM), Wang Sichun (TRUTH), Cheng Ran (JOSS) and Yang Yongliang. After the films there’ll be talk about virtual reality technology and the VR Museum.

Picking up on our animated interests, PANEL TALK: THE CENTENARY OF JAPANESE ANIMATION (26 OCT 19:30 London Film School) features programmer Dr. Jasper Sharp, anime authority Helen McCarthy and London International Animation Festival founder Nag Vladermersky. Together, they’ll “take a look at a hundred years of anime and at the vast field of independent animation that lies beyond it.”

LEAFF17: THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND screens at Rich Mix (26 OCT).
LEAFF17: THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND screens at Rich Mix (26 OCT).

SINGLE-O EXHIBIT

If we could only spend one evening at the festival we’d head to Rich Mix. THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND + BAHNGBEK (26 OCT 18:00 + 20:00) offers a UK film premiere, an exclusive talk with screen composer Bang Jun-seok and a concert with Jun-seok and Korean actor-singer Baik Hyun-Jhin, the other half of Bahngbek. All for a bargain joint ticket price of £16 (£10 for each individual elements).

THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND tells the tale of four hundred Korean captives who make a desperate attempt to escape an island where Japanese military are forcing them to mine for coal. Ryoo Seung-wan’s film screens in OFFICIAL SELECTION. Bang Jun-seok‘s music credits include over thirty films for directors including Park Chan-wook and Ryoo Seung-wan.


Featured image: JANE (2016).

* Accurate at the time of posting. Apologies for any mistakes. We aim to only cover film events you can get tickets for at the time of posting. Click quickly.

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