Rub elbows with some of the biggest names in Korean cinema tonight (Aug. 21) when the New York Korean Film Festival kicks off with a cocktail reception featuring director Chang Youn-hyu and actor Yoo Ji-tae of the film Hwang Jin Yi, which will be screening at 7:30 p.m. The movie has already received countless accolades, including the Korean Film Awards prize for Best Actress to Song Hye-kyo, who stars as a courtesan forced to choose between her poet lover and her aristocratic existence at court. This year’s festival will feature a total of 14 films: Highlights include Hellcats, a rom-com that sounds like Ghostworld meets Sex and the City (although this time the city is Seoul), and Forever the Moment, based on true events, about the fighting spirit of the 2004 Olympic women’s handball team.

Thu., Aug. 21, 6 p.m., 2008