The Stories of Women strand returns for the festival's second year
Established with the aim of celebrating the diversity of East Asian film, the London East Asia Film Festival is back for its second official year with another programme of world-class films from over 10 countries, along with workshops, seminars and other events. This year's festival sees the return of the Stories of Women strand, which features the work of two female filmmakers as well as films with strong female leads, offering an authentic insight into the lives of women across East Asia. We thought we'd take a closer look at the four films being screened as part of the strand.
The Table (2016)
Kim Jong-Kwan's episodic drama follows four conversations which take place in the same cafe over a single day. Conversations between lovers, ex-lovers and random strangers unfold, telling stories about the complex nature of human relationships. The film is headlined by four of Korea's top actresses, whose performances give weight to the various dilemmas and puzzles of each narrative. Regent Street Cinema, Mon 23 Oct, 6.30pm; Rich Mix, Wed 25 Oct, 6.30pm, followed by Q&A with director Kim Jong-kwan, actress Lim Soo-jung and actress Jung Eun-chae.
The Receptionist (2016)
London-based Taiwanese director Jenny Lu's debut feature details the lives of Taiwanese women who work in an illegal massage parlour, with the story being told through the eyes of recent graduate Tina who takes a job as a receptionist. Inspired by Lu's own struggles as a graduate in London, the film offers an insight into the parlour workers' lives, offering a sharp critique of sexual exploitation. Regent Street Cinema, Tue 24 Oct, 8.45pm, followed by a Q&A with director Jenny Lu, producer/actress Shuang Teng.
Small Talk (2016)
Huang Hui-chen's documentary is a moving look at her damaged relationship with her mother, which over time has resulted in a huge gulf opening up between the pair. In an attempt to find answers, Huang sits down with her mother A-nu, a lesbian Taoist priestess, as well as her siblings and her mother's past and current lovers to try and work out the reason for the silence between them. Regent Street Cinema, Tue 24 Oct, 6pm, followed by a Q&A with director Huang Hui-chen.
When young runaway So-hyun is abandoned by her close friend Jung-ho, who she sees as a brother, she finds friendship in Jane, an eccentric transgender woman, whose gang of misfits become like a real family to her. As the pair go in search of her lost friend, it's clear that this happiness and her new family aren't permanent. Lee Min-ji gives a terrific performance as So-hyun, adding an extra layer of ambiguity to the already cryptic storyline. Regent Street Cinema, Mon 23 Oct, 8.30pm, followed by a Q&A with director Cho Hyun-hoon.
A film festival celebrating the cinematic landscape of East Asia, celebrating films from South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, China and Southeast Asia. There will be international, European and UK premieres plus shorts, classics, Q&A sessions and rare UK screenings.