With a special series of screenings and events showcasing the bet of filmmaking from Taiwan to mark the recent surge of domestic and foreign attention around Taiwan’s new wave of cinema.
London East Asia Film Festival 2018
LEAFF 2018 will bring 60 titles from 13 countries of East and Southeast Asia, including 6 international, 8 European and 23 UK premieres. There will be 9 strands that run throughout the festival: Official Selection, Actor Focus, Cinematic Journey Through Taiwan, Stories of Women, Competition, Festival Focus, Documentary, Horror Special and The First Look.
The overarching theme of LEAFF 2018 is the future and what the future will bring to our lives. 20 filmmakers and actors will attend to participate in screenings and events in five cities around the UK.
Take a look at the official trailer for highlights of LEAFF 2018:
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.
List of strands (with Taiwanese Films in each category):
Official LEAFF Selection
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. These include Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest feature, Yocho, Isao Yukisada’s powerful depiction of modern-day youth in River’s Edge, as well as Erik Matti’s action-packed thriller Buybust.
Cinematic Journey through Taiwan
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”. This strand includes films made before the millennium that capture Taiwanese stories, including the horrifying and formerly taboo subject of the 228 Incident, martial law and white terror. Audiences can view classics, such as A City of Sadness by Director Hou Hsiao-hsien and A Brighter Summer Day by Director Edward Yang, to the recently released with 10 Years Taiwan, a film by five talented Taiwanese filmmakers that imagines the country ten years in the future.
Stories of Women
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.
LEAFF’s Competition seeks out East Asia’s most talented emerging directors, with a stellar jury including film critic Tim Robey from the Telegraph and Variety, Programmer Ansgar Vogt from Berlin International Film Festival and 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.
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, 14 Apples (dir. Midi Z) and I’ve Got The Blues (dir. Angie Chen) will show another side of Taiwan, Myanmar and Hong Kong. I’ve Got A Little Problem (dir. Ximing Zhang) discusses art and depression, looking at the life of Ren Hang, the celebrated and controversial erotic Chinese photographer who passed away in 2017.
About the Festival
The London East Asia Film Festival was established in 2015 as a non-profit arts organisation to champion the growing collaboration and diversity in East Asian filmmaking.
After an incredibly successful pre-festival in 2015, LEAFF’s 1st edition officially launched in 2016 on 20th October at ODEON Leicester Square with THE AGE OF SHADOWS (dir. Kim Jee-woon). 40 films were screened over 11 days at venues across central London, and ended with Closing Gala film, THREE (dir. Johnnie To).
LEAFF aims to champion the growing collaboration in East Asian filmmaking with a philosophy that marks a shift in the cinematic landscape of East Asia, and moves away from cultural and cinematic borders. Our vision is to bring a much wider, eclectic, and diverse programme of films from over 10 countries to show the richness and diversity of the region and its people. We want to draw people in with the familiar, and offer opportunities to see something new.
Text- and Photocredit: London East Asia Film Festival