London Korean film fest gets presidential boost

November 12, 2013
Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks at the opening ceremony of the London Korean Film Festival 2013 last week. / Yonhap

Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks at the opening ceremony of the London Korean Film Festival 2013 last week. (Yonhap)

By Yun Suh-young

A festival in the United Kingdom showcasing Korean films got a major boost last week when President Park Geun-hye attended a gala event to show her support.

Due to the presence of Park, who was in London for a state visit, the eighth London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) expanded to a venue for diplomacy. During an opening event, Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo Jin-ryong and his British counterpart Maria Miller signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on culture and creative industries.

Park, in a speech during the opening gala on Wednesday, stressed the importance of communication and cultural and human exchanges to maintain strong bilateral relations.

Some 400 guests involved in the film industry ― including Oscar-winning producer David Puttnam and Moving Picture Company CEO Mark Benson ― attended the event at Cineworld Haymarket Cinema in downtown London.

The festival, which opened the next day, showcases various genres of Korean films and runs until Nov. 22 in different parts in locations such as Oxford, Bradford, and St. Andrews after it finishes its schedule in London.

It began with the screening of Huh Jung’s “Hide and Seek” during the opening ceremony. The closing film will be “Boomerang Family” by director Song Hae-sung. Park Hae-il and Yoon Yeo-jeong, who star in the film, will participate in a Q&A moderated by Asian film critic Tony Rayns.

The lineup includes six Kang Woo-suk films including “Silmido” and “Moss” as well as a couple of Kim Ji-woon’s short films. Korean classic films dealing with the Korean War will also screened.

Some local box office hits are also part of the line-up, including “Secretly, Greatly,” “Miracle of Cell No.7,” “Montage,” and “The Flu.” Visit www.koreanfilm.co.uk for more details.

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