Hwang Jin Yi screens in North Korea

The big-budget period drama "Hwang Jin Yi" has received a special screening in North Korea ahead of its local release.

The film, which is based on the life of Korea's most famous gisaeng (the Korean equivalent to the Japanese "geisha"), is adapted from a famous novel by North Korean author Hong Seok-jung.

As the novel references several famous sites in what is now North Korea, the filmmakers made a special effort to shoot the film's final segment at the Geumgang ("Diamond") Mountain resort area in the North. The Geumgang complex is the one part of North Korea that is freely open to tourists from the South, following its development as a tourist complex in 2000. "Hwang Jin Yi" is the second Korean film to shoot in the complex, following comedy "A Bold Family" in 2005.

The screening was held in the Geumgang complex for South Korean tourists and employees of the Hyundai Asan company that operates the tours. A total of 6000 people attended the screening.

The film stars popular actress Song Hye-kyo, who has won over many fans throughout Asia for her TV dramas, and actor Yoo Ji-tae ("Old Boy"). It is directed by Jang Yoon-hyeon, who previously made the films "The Contact" (1997), "Tell Me Something" (1999), and "Some" (2004).

Produced by Cinema Service, the big-budget film will receive a major release on June 6. International sales are being handled by CJ Entertainment.

Darcy Paquet(KOFIC)