Korean Cultural Center New York announces a new film series
Korean Movie Night New York: Master Series “Lee Joon-ik"
showcasing the innovative world of the renowned
Director/Producer of Korea’s top historical drama genre films


  • Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center (165 West 65th Street, New York City)
  • SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, New York City)

Korean Cultural Center New York, a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea, is proud to announce a new film series to launch Korean Movie Night New York: Master Series – a showcase of the works of Korea’s leading filmmakers.

Co-presented with Subway Cinema as a part of the 15th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), the inaugural Korean Movie Night New York – Master Series will focus on Director/Producer Lee Joon-ik, a master of Korean historical drama. The program will consist of 6 of Director Lee’s most representative films, with the screenings held June 28 - July 2 at Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th St.) and SVA Theater (333 West 23rd St.).

In the past two decades, he has produced, directed, and even appeared in over 20 films, many of which have played key roles in shaping the Korean cinescape. More than any other Korean filmmaker, Lee Joon-ik has focused on telling the stories about the Korean society and its traditions though the format of historical dramas, often with razor-sharp satire and elements of black comedy, skillfully creating fictional stories around historical characters, and also reflecting on Korea’s contemporary politics.

While historical drama is one of the staples of Korean cinema, director Lee has been responsible for the genre’s now decade long resurgence with his 2005 hit King And The Clown. Having established himself as a leading master of the genre, he has continued to make historic dramas as his preferred mode of communicating with the audience, innovatively utilizing his art to allow Korean history and culture to be better understood by a growing international audience, and also to generations of young Koreans.

About Korean Movie Night New York

Korean Movie Night New York (KMN) is redesigned as "Korean Movie Night New York: Premiere Showcase" and “Korean Movie Night New York: Master Series” in 2016. It was a continuing series of bi-weekly film screenings that introduces the full spectrum of both contemporary and classic Korean cinema to New York audiences, from popular blockbusters, independent films, and documentaries, to animation and family movies. KMN was launched in 2010 as a successor to Korean Cine Forum, an earlier film screening series that was organized by the Korean Cultural Center (then Korean Cultural Service) in 1996. Keep up with the latest news at: www.Facebook.com/KoreanMovieNY.

Korean Movie Night New York: Master Series “Lee Joon-ik”
Film Screening Schedule (June 28 to July 2)

Tuesday, June 28 at Walter Reade Theater
9:15pm Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (2016)
Starring: Kang Ha-neul, Park Jung-min
2016 | 113 min | DCP | Korean with English subtitles

Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet is a biographical film about Korean poet Yun Dong-ju, set during the Japanese colonial era. Written by arthouse director Shin Yeon-shick, and shot entirely in black and white, the film follows Dong-ju and his friend Mong-kyu, as they react in different ways to the harsh realities of their lives.

Thursday, June 30 at Walter Reade Theater

8:30pm The Throne (2015)
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Yoo Ah-in
2015 | 125 min | DCP | Korean with English subtitles

“The film’s compassion flows audaciously in all directions, as Lee extends a full measure of human complexity to every figure in the tragedy, all of them trapped in one way or another by a rigid social order that regularly turned family members into enemies” – Justine Chang, Variety

The Throne
is a tragic tale of 27-year-old Crown Prince Sado, who was ordered by his father, King Yeongjo, to be locked inside a wooden rice chest in 1762. The film was South Korea’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

Friday, July 1 at SVA Theatre - Historical Dramas

6:00pm King And The Clown
2005 | 119 min | 35mm | Korean with English subtitles

A critical and commercial hit that became the highest grossing Korean film of its time, King and The Clown follows the intricate web of desires and jealousies between Joseon Dynasty king Yonsan, his consort, and two male traveling performers. The film kick-started the resurgence of Korean historical dramas on the big screen which had traditionally been one of the most popular genres of Korean cinema.

8:10pm Talk with Director Lee Joon-ik

The in-depth talk and Q&A session will focus on Director Lee’s preference for the historical drama format.

9:10pm Blades of Blood
2010 | 111min | 35mm | Korean with English subtitles
As the closing film of the New York Asian Film Festival 2010, and adapted from a popular manhwa, Blades of Blood is a sweeping 16th century epic of political intrigue and revenge with the legendary blind swordsman (portrayed by Hwang Jung-min) at the center of action.

Saturday, July 2 at SVA Theatre - Historical Black Comedies

4:30pm Once Upon a Time in A Battlefield
2003 | 104min | Digi-Beta | Korean with English subtitles
Lee Joon-ik’s very first foray into period comedy is a refreshingly postmodern twist on Korea’s ancient history, specifically on the 7th century conflict between the three Korean kingdoms of Baekje, Silla, and Goguryeo, effectively (and hilariously) serving as a metaphor for political regionalism of contemporary Korea.

6:30pm Battlefield Heroes

2011 | 118min | DCP |Korean with English subtitles
The sequel to Once Upon A Time in a Battlefield, and the official selection of New York Asian Film Festival 2011, focuses on the war between the southern Korean state of Silla and the larger northern Korean state of Goguryeo, set in 668.

8:35 pm Talk with director Lee Joon-ik and Writer/Producer Cho Chul-hyun
(The Throne, Battlefield Heroes, Blades of Blood, Once Upon a Time in a Battlefield).

Lee Joon-ik and Cho Chul-hyun have been working closely ever since the start of Lee Joon-ik’s earlier film career in late 90’s. The talk and Q&A will focus on the story development process of their films.

Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet and The Throne will screen as part of the 15th New York Asian Film Festival (June 22 – July 9 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and SVA Theatre, www.subwaycinema.com). Director Lee Joon-ik, writer/producer Cho Chul-hyun (The Throne, Battlefield Heroes) and Director Shin Yeon-shick (producer/writer of Dongju) will be in attendance. Complete screening schedule and guest appearances for the NYAFF will be announced at a later date.

  • For stills, please contact Jean Jo at jjo@Koreanculture.org 212-759 9550 (ext. 207)
  • For screeners and film inquiries, please contact Film Curator Kyungmi Kim at kyungmi007@gmail.com or 646-925-6149
  • For press and interview inquiries, please contact Mickey Hyun at mickeyhyun@koreanculture.org or pr@koreanculture.org 212-759-9550 (ext. 212)

Korean Cultural Center NY

Inaugurated in 1979, the Korean Cultural Center New York (previous the Korean Cultural Service New York/KCCNY) is a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea. Under the authority of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in New York, KCCNY works to promote cultural arts exchange and stimulate interest in Korean culture through various opportunities. KCCNY provides diverse activities including exhibitions, concerts, film festivals, and educational programs. KCCNY is located at 460 Park Avenue (at 57th Street), New York City. www.koreanculture.org.