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London Korean Film Festival to be held in November

A scene from the 16th London Korean Film Festival opener “Escape from Mogadishu” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan. (Korean Cultural Centre UK)
A scene from the 16th London Korean Film Festival opener “Escape from Mogadishu” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan. (Korean Cultural Centre UK)
Korean Cultural Centre UK announced that it will hold the 16th London Korean Film Festival for two weeks from Nov. 4 to 19.

The festival organizer said it will screen 35 Korean films of diverse genres including independent films, classic films, animation and shorts.

Last year, the annual event was held as an online-offline hybrid festival due to the pandemic, but this year all of the films will be screened at nine local theaters in London.

“Escape from Mogadishu” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan has been selected as the opener of the festival.

Set in Somalia in 1991 -- when both Koreas were vying for membership in the United Nations and each sought to prevent the other’s inclusion -- the movie begins with a scene between South Korean Ambassador to Somalia Han Shin-sung (played by Kim Yoon-seok) and Kang Dae-jin (Jo In-sung), a spy with the Agency for National Security Planning. The two are discussing how to prevent the North Korean ambassador (played by Heo Jun-ho) from establishing a stronger relationship with the Somali government. But then, civil war breaks out in Somalia and the diplomats of the two Koreas are put into a situation where they have to cooperate.

Ryoo’s film was recently chosen as Korea’s entry for the best international feature category of the 94th Academy Awards.

The 16th London Korean Film Festival’s closing film is “Heaven: To the Land of Happiness” directed by Im Sang-soo.

Im’s movie centers on two men: No. 203 (played by Choi Min-sik) and Nam-sik (played by Park Hye-il). The aging No. 203 is a longtime prisoner who only has a few months left until he is released. One day while he’s still waiting, No. 203 finds out he only has two weeks to live due to a brain tumor. Upon learning the news, he escapes from prison. While on the run, he meets Nam-sik, who suffers from an incurable disease.

This South Korean buddy movie made it to the Cannes Film Festival’s 2020 Official Selection list. Also, it premiered as the opener of the 26th Busan International Film Festival.
 
A scene from film director Kim Ki-young’s “Fire Woman” starring Youn Yuh-jung which will be screened during the 16th London Korean Film Festival. (Korean Cultural Centre UK)
A scene from film director Kim Ki-young’s “Fire Woman” starring Youn Yuh-jung which will be screened during the 16th London Korean Film Festival. (Korean Cultural Centre UK)
In addition, Oscar-winning Korean actor Youn Yuh-jung’s films will be screened during the festival’s special focus program organized by Mark Morris, a Korean classic film expert and former lecturer of East Asian culture at the University of Cambridge. He has selected films featuring Youn, including “Fire Woman,” directed by auteur Kim Ki-young, “The Housemaid” directed by Im Sang-soo and “The Bacchus Lady” directed by E J-young for the special program. A KBS documentary “Docu Inside- Documentary Youn Yuh-jung” produced by Lee Eun-kyu will also be screened during the festival in London, for audiences who want to take a look back at Youn’s career.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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