On Thursday, November 7 New York City welcomed some of Korea's hottest celebrities to the Spotlight on Korean Cinema red carpet event at the Museum of Modern Art.
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The special event was hosted by CJ Entertainment in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of its parent company, CJ Group, and served to introduce promising young Korean directors, Moon Byung Gon and Jo Sung Hee, to influential members of the international entertainment industry through a special screening presentation of two films.
Also joining the screening to show their support for the new wave of Korean cinema were several of the country's leading actors and entertainers.
Entering MoMA on the red carpet at last night's event were international actor Lee Byung Hun and world mega star Psy, who served as representatives of the Korean entertainment field's increasingly globalized appeal.
Actors Ha Jung Woo, Go Soo, and Lee Jin Wook also joined actress Gong Hyo Jin and TV personality Hwang So Hee at the screening presentation.
Additionally, CJ Entertainment donated ten iconic Korean films from famed directors such as Bong Joon Ho and Park Chan Wook to The Museum of Modern Art's Film Collection "for the purposes of preservation and education" and in accordance with the "mission to expand the world stage for Korean film," explained the CEO Jeong Tae Sung.
CJ Entertainment, according to Jeong, is "embracing the future with fresh, young talents" and the celebrities in attendance "represent new energy and Korea's premium acting talent."
"Lee Byung Hun," said Jeong, "is carrying a banner for Korean entertainers in Hollywood." It is no surpirse then, that with two US major motion pictures under his belt, the veteran actor was one of the night's biggest attractions.
"Gangnam Style" singer Psy also made a big impression on the crowd as a representative for the Korean Wave. "He is a man who needs no introduction. He single-handedly created a new category of international stars," explained Jeong.
Before the screening of his short film, Safe, up-and-coming director Moon Byung Gon modestly addressed the audience to introduce his creation and added, "the celebrities here tonight are very hard to meet in person even in Korea. So thank you all for coming out tonight."
Safe has earned Moon a great deal of international recognition, particularly after it won the Palme d'Or and several other recognitions at the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival.
The film is about a young college student who works as a cashier in an illegal gambling house until things spiral out of control.
The second screening of the night was of director Jo Sung Hee's critically acclaimed film End of Animal.
The post-apocalyptic film is dismal and quiet but masterfully put together despite Jo's assertion that it "is a little rough around the edges."
It was also revealed that the remake rights for End of Animal has been sold in the United States and that an full-length feature film version of it is in the works.
Both films were well received by the audience and the entire event gave some new insight into the Korean film industry and boosted the recognition of for many of the country's promising actors and influential stars.
CJ Entertainment was established in 1995 and since has become the nation's leading motion picture studio. Since its inception, the company has invested heavily in the Korean film industry making it the world's 8th largest.