The London Korean Film Festival 2019 presents the UK Premiere of “Default” at Regent Street Cinema, Monday 20th May

“The poor get poorer… unemployment becomes the norm…
we must not choose that world.”

Recent years have witnessed a boom in political dramas in Korea, with hits such as “A Taxi Driver” (2017) and “1987: When the Day Comes” (2017) bringing in audiences in their millions. The second teaser in our showcase, based on the true events of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, adds the dimension of a fast-paced financial thriller to this popular genre. Default is an affecting film that considers the human impact of the crisis alongside acerbic commentary.

The crisis occurred when large companies, aspiring to compete globally, began to take out massive loans for expansion projects. When these investments failed to achieve returns, a domino effect began that would result in nationwide debt and the impending crash of the economy…

Set in the run-up to the nation’s so-called Day of Humiliation where negotiations for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were concluded, “Default” follows three interwoven character arcs: a senior financial analyst at the Bank of Korea (Kim Hye-soo, “Coin Locker Girl”) struggling to do right amongst her negligent colleagues; a factory owner (Huh Joon-ho, “The Merciless”) swept into crisis when his main client falls into bankruptcy; and an opportunist (Yoo Ah-in, “Burning”) looking to profit from the nationwide catastrophe. Accompanying this impressive ensemble is international star Vincent Cassel (“Black Swan”) as the unyielding managing director of IMF.

“Default” is the ambitious second title from promising director Choi Kook-hee, who won Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival in 2017 with “Split”. Not only does it conjure gripping blockbuster entertainment from this dark period still fresh in the Korean consciousness but also, in a masterful move not unlike Adam McKay’s hit The Big Short, it offers insight into the economic intricacies of a disastrous event that would come to shape the course of Korean history.

London Korean Film Festival 2019 Teaser Screenings:
Extending the work of and then building up to the annual London Korean Film Festival in the autumn, the teaser screenings showcase a diverse range of contemporary Korean cinema across the year. The screenings are scheduled to take place monthly at either Regent Street Cinema or Picturehouse Central in London.

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London Korean Film Festival

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)"