The London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF), opens its third year on the 25th October at Vue Leicester Square with “Dark Figure of Crime”, the newest thriller by director Kim Tae-gyun, and runs until the 4th November. It will close with the intelligent and emotionally complex family drama, “Ramen Shop”, the latest feature film by acclaimed Singaporean director, Eric Khoo.

Having expanded to include the cinematic offerings of 13 countries – China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar – LEAFF’s 2018 programme focuses on the “future”. Through the lens and unique perspectives of East Asian filmmakers, LEAFF offers compelling insight into not only the future of those in East Asia but in London, with vital and thought – provoking dialogues being opened up around subjects such as youth, human interaction, development, cultural and social issues.

LEAFF will screen 6 International premieres, 8 European premieres and 23 UK premieres, which will take place at selected venues, including Vue Leicester Square and Piccadilly, Bertha Dochouse and London Film School.

The festival runs nine strands, carefully curated and programmed by Festival Director Hyejung Jeon, with Festival Advisors Roger Garcia (Hong Kong International Film Festival) and Mark Adams (Artistic Director, Edinburgh International Film Festival); Programme Consultant, Damon Wise, and Programmers Jasper Sharp and Ruth Linton.

– LEAFF Official Selection
– Actor Focus: Kim Yoon-seok
– Cinematic Journey Through Taiwan
– Stories of Women
– Competition
– Festival Focus: Nara International Film Festival
– Documentary
– Horror Special
– The First Look

The LEAFF Official Selection presents some of the best East Asian films of the year. From box office hits to critically acclaimed features, LEAFF celebrates the return of highly influential filmmakers.

“Dark Figure Of Crime” + Q&a With Director And Actor Kim Yoon-seok | Kim Tae-gyun | South Korea | 2018 | Opening Gala
“Ramen Shop” | Eric Khoo | Singapore, Japan, France | 2018 | Closing Gala
“Project Gutenberg” + Q&a With Director | Felix Chong | Hong Kong | 2018 | Special Gala
“Human, Space, Time And Human” | Kim Ki Duk | South Korea | 2018
“Yocho” (Foreboding) | Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Japan | 2017
“Father To Son” | Hsiao Ya-chuan | Taiwan | 2018
“River’s Edge” | Isao Yukisada | Japan | 2018
“Sunset In My Hometown” | Lee Joon-ik | South Korea | 2018
“10 Years Japan” | Akiyo Fujimura, Chie Hayakawa, Yusuke Kinoshita, Megumi Tsuno And Kei Ishikawa | Japan | 2018
”10 Years Thailand” | Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wisit Sasanatieng, Aditya Assarat, Chulayarnnon | Thailand | 2018
“Brother Of The Year” | Witthaya Thongyooyong | Thailand | 2018
“Buybust” | Erik Matti | Philippines | 2018

ACTOR FOCUS: Kim Yoon-seok
This year, LEAFF celebrates the works of Kim Yoon-seok, the acclaimed Korean action and drama actor, who has starred in 28 films since making his film debut in the family drama, Kiss Me Much (2001).

“Dark Figure Of Crime” + Q&a With Director And Actor Kim Yoon-seok | Kim Tae-gyun | South Korea | 2018
“1987: When The Day Comes”  | Jang Joon-hwan | South Korea | 2017
“The Classified File” | Kwak Kyung-taek | South Korea | 2015
“The Thieves” | Choi Dong-hoon | South Korea | 2012
“The Chaser” | Na Hong-jin | South Korea | 2008

To mark the recent surge of domestic and foreign attention around Taiwan’s new wave of cinema, LEAFF will present a specially curated programme called “Cinematic Journey Through Taiwan”.

“A City Of Sadness” | Hou Hsiao-hsien | Taiwan | 1989
“A Brighter Summer Day” | Edward Yang | Taiwan | 1991
“Tropical Fish” + Q&a With Director | Chen Yu-hsun | Taiwan | 1995
“10 Years Taiwan” | Pei-ju Hsieh, Kek Huat Lau, Po-shun Lu, Lekal Sumi, Rina Tsou | Taiwan | 2018

Following the unprecedented success of this strand, the Stories of Women section returns to underline the importance of showing films both made by women, as well as the representation of female voices in cinema.

“Miss Baek” + Q&a With Actress Han Ji-min | Lee Ji-won | South Korea | 2018
“Girls Always Happy” | Yang Mingming | China | 2018
“Sen Sen” + Q&a With Director | Bon An | Taiwan | 2017
“Go-go Sisters” | Nguyen Quang Dung | Vietnam | 2018
“Tomorrow Is Another Day” | Tai-lee Chan | Hong Kong | 2017
“Comrade Kim Goes Flying” + Q&a With Directors | Kim Gwang Hun, Nicholas Bonner, Anja Daelemans | United Kingdom, Belgium, North Korea | 2012

LEAFF’s Competition seeks out East Asia’s most talented emerging directors, with a stellar jury including Programmer Ansgar Vogt from Berlin International Film Festival, Elena Pollacchi from Venice International Film Festival. The best filmmaker will be awarded the Phillips-Lee Award and a cash prize of £2,000 in contribution for their next project.

“A Land Imagined” + Q&a With Director | Yeo Siew Hua | Singapore, France, Netherlands | 2018
“The Bold, The Corrupt, The Beautiful” | Yang Ya-che | Taiwan | 2017
“February” + Q&a With Director | Kim Joong-hyun | South Korea | 2017
“Dear Ex” | Mag Hsu, Chih-yen Hsu | Taiwan | 2018
“Distinction” + Q&a With Director | Jevons Au | Hong Kong | 2018
“Glass Garden” + Q&a With Director | Shin Su-won | South Korea | 2017
“Great Buddha +” + Q&a With Actor Cres Chuang | Huang Hsin-yao | Taiwan | 2017
“The Seen And The Unseen” | Kamila Andini | Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia, Qatar | 2017
“Wangdrak’s Rain Boots” | Lhapal Gyal | China | 2017
“The Widowed Witch” | Cai Chengjie | China | 2017

FESTIVAL FOCUS: Nara International Film Festival
Each year, LEAFF focuses on one East Asian film festival to further bridge the cultural gap between the East and West. This year, LEAFF is delighted to announce their partnership with Nara International Film Festival (NIFF), founded by Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase in 2010.

“Embracing” | Naomi Kawase | Japan | 1992 | 40 Mins | 8mm
“Katatsumori” | Naomi Kawase | Japan | 1994 | 40 Mins | 8mm
“The Wind From Persia” | Misaki Matsui | Japan | 2018 | 35 Mins
“Kofukuna” | Ayane Nakasu | Japan | 2017 | 39 Mins
“Good Afternoon” | Akira Yamamoto | Japan | 2017 | 30 Mins
“The Girlfriend” | Saki Michimoto | Japan | 2017 | 28 Mins

This year, LEAFF will introduce its Documentaries strand, opening with “Intention” (dir. Kim Ji-young), a documentary based on the tragic events of 2014’s Sewol Ferry incident in South Korea, in which 288 people, mostly school-children, died. In partnership with Bertha Dochouse.

“Intention” + Director And Producers | Kim Ji-young | South Korea | 2018
“14 Apples” | Midi Z | Taiwan, Myanmar | 2018
“I’ve Got The Blues” | Angie Chen | Hong Kong | 2017
“I’ve Got A Little Problem” | Ximing Zhang | China | 2017

With Asian horror on par with Hollywood’s scariest, LEAFF will screens Indonesian tense and hugely popular remake of a 1982 occult thriller, as a Halloween Special!

“Satan’s Slaves” | Joko Anwar | Indonesia | 2017
“The Witch” + Q&a With Director And Actress Kim Da-mi | Park Hoon-jung | South Korea | 2018

As the strand’s title suggests, this will be the UK’s first opportunity to watch powerful short films by new East Asian filmmakers

“Mad Rush” | Lee Heejun | South Korea | 2018 | 17 Mins
“S He” | Shengwei Zhou | China | 2017 | 11 Mins
“Exemplary Citizen” | Kim Cheol-hwi | South Korea 2018 | 12 Mins

LEAFF will present a range of fascinating talks, organized with partners, cultural institutions, and industry professionals. Using various topics within the films screened as starting points, discussions will include female representation in East Asian cinema, the achievements of distinguished Korean actor Kim Yoon-seok, opportunities for young filmmakers in the Future Talent Talk, and the unique opportunity to hear about North Korea. In addition, there will be networking events and receptions dedicated to celebrating Taiwanese culture and Hong Kong cinema.


  • Director Kim Tae-gyun, Dark Figure of Crime
  • Director Felix Chong, Project Gutenberg
  • Director Bon An, Sen Sen
  • Director Chen Yu-Hsun, Tropical Fish
  • Director Nicholas Bonner, Comrade Kim Goes Flying
  • Director Anja Daelemans, Comrade Kim Goes Flying
  • Director Kim Ji-young, Intention
  • Director Jevons Au, Distinction
  • Director Kim Joong-hyun, February
  • Director Shin Su-won, Glass Garden
  • Director Chris Yeo, A Land Imagined
  • Director Park Hoon-jung, The Witch
  • Actor Kim Yoon-seok, Dark Figure of Crime / Actor Focus
  • Actor Cres Chuang, Great Buddha +
  • Actress Han Ji-min, Miss Baek
  • Actress Kim Da-mi, The Witch

Find more information about screening times and tickets on the official website

On paper I am an Italian living in London, in reality I was born and bread in a popcorn bucket. I've loved cinema since I was a little child and I’ve always had a passion and interest for Asian (especially Japanese) pop culture, food and traditions, but on the cinema side, my big, first love is Hong Kong Cinema. Then - by a sort of osmosis - I have expanded my love and appreciation to the cinematography of other Asian countries. I like action, heroic bloodshed, wu-xia, Shaw Bros (even if it’s not my specialty), Anime, and also more auteur-ish movies. Anything that is good, really, but I am allergic to rom-com (unless it’s a HK rom-com, possibly featuring Andy Lau in his 20s)"