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LEAFF – London East Asian Film Festival 0th Edition

We were privileged to be invited to the London East Asian Film Festival’s 0th Edition this year. The pre-launch showcase was an exciting and diverse lineup of hit films including those from Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian countries. This annual event intends to increase awareness of East Asian film culture and share the biggest hit films of the year with film fanatics in London intending to reach full festival scale by next year.

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The festival kicked off with a very special screening of box office record breaking South Korean film ‘Veteran’ – which is now the 3rd all time highest grossing film in South Korean cinema. As VIPs to the opening gala premiere, we were treated to a Q&A with director Ryoo Seung-Wan and producer, Kang Hye-Jung at the Odeon, Leicester Square.

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No film festival is complete without the red carpet treatment, but we also had the pleasure of being welcomed by the festival director Hye-jung Jeon whom we thought was a true visionary in bringing about the festival’s existence. In the UK, East Asian films are rarely well represented and severely under distributed and we feel this festival may well be a big step in changing that.

Either way, we were beyond eager to watch the critically acclaimed film, and we weren’t alone: the cinema was packed full of a buzzing audience, and where better to watch such a film than the glorious venue that is the Odeon Leicester Square?

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After the showing of the film, the Q&A commenced!

At the mingling session at the Odeon top floor after the film, we had a chance to taste some authentic finger food from all different East Asian cultures as well as have a chat with the festival director, film director and producer!

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Festival director Hye-jung Jeon (left) speaking with Veteran’s film director Ryoo Seung Wan (right)

Review:

A detective pursues a man born into a wealthy family who causes chaos in every situation imaginable. As the story unfolds, themes of corruption, justice and violence keep the audience at the edge of their seats. The director, Ryoo Seung-wan is back again after hit films ‘The Berlin File’ and ‘City of Violence’ and he smashes it once again.

Thoroughly entertaining and without a moment’s lapse of attention, ‘Veteran’ is high energy from the very first minute with a penchant for action that is to the bone without being too grisly. That mixed with excellently comedy banter between the characters of whom the film makes us care about immensely, weaving in and out of a brilliantly written screen play.

We highly recommend ‘Veteran’: an all round whopper of hair raising action, hilarious comedy and above all truly heartfelt characters, this film will stay with you for a long time after the lights come in. If you’ve seen it already, don’t forget to let us know what you thought in the comments section!

Diana Chan

CEO and chief magazine editor. An explorer, creator and do-er. Can easily be found marathon-ing a K-drama. No spoilers please.

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1 COMMENT
  • Williamsl
    2 years ago

    Great article.Much thanks again. Great. Mitcheltree

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