Nicholas Bonner

Nicholas Bonner was a lecturer at a Beijing university in the early 1990s when he met a DPRK citizen, and took his first trip to Pyongyang. The experience inspired him to set up Koryo Tours in 1993, and he’s been travelling there on a regular basis ever since. As a frequent visitor to North Korea over the last 25 years, Bonner — who is also an artist and filmmaker —became increasingly well known in the country, and was eventually granted unprecedented access to make three documentaries and a feature film, which have won him a number of awards at various major film festivals. His travel company, Koryo Tours, has taken tens of thousands of travellers to North Korea over the years, and Bonner continues to encourage engagement with the country. “We all have our own preconceptions about North Korea, but this tends to come from an extremely limited perspective, often resulting in very black-and-white viewpoints,” he says. “Over the last 25 years, Koryo and I have looked for ways in which to work with the North Korean people — whether that be through tourism, film, art or other cultural events — and promote engagement as a tool for creating dialogue and understanding.”


  • Tickets for BLF 2019 Events

    Due to high demand, we cannot take reservations over the phone or email; please purchase your tickets at The Bookworm Sanlitun or online via Yoopay (click ‘ticket’ on the events page).