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15 Short Films you can’t miss at the 4th Ulju Mountain Film Festival

umff2019shortsWe present a list of fifteen short films you should not miss at the 4th Ulju Mountain Film Festival which will take place from September 6th – 10th in Ulsan, Korea.

About the festival:
Organized by the City of Ulju, Metropolitan City Ulsan, presented by Organizing Committee, Ulju Mountain Film Festival is the first and the only international mountain film festival in South Korea, dedicated to present and promote films & culture dealing with the mountains, adventure and exploration, nature and environment. The festival also provides an opportunity for filmmakers and mountaineers to meet and exchange ideas through the seminars, events, screenings and social gatherings.

Selected Films:

15 km

15.7 KM by Rian Apriansyah – Indonesia | 2018 – 15 min. | Fiction
Section: Nature & People

15.7 KM. This is the total distance a young boy named Budi from Banka Isle, Indonesia must travel to get to school. Not much really happens in the film. It just shows the daily routine of the boy leaving home and walking, riding a boat, maybe lucky enough to hitch a motorcycle ride, and then walking again to finally reach his school. The lack of dialogue in the film reveals the young boy’s reality more powerfully than any words could do. (MAENG Soo-jin)

Schedule:
September 6th | Friday | Alps Cinema 2 | 12:00 pm
September 10th | Tuesday | Alps Cinema 3 | 11:00 am

Trailer:

 

Anba

Anba, in the Depths of Haiti by Vladimir Cellier
France | 2018 – 25 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

It is peaceful to see the Haitian people who play upbeat music with traditional instruments, surrounded by the blue sea and palm trees in the scorching sun. Also, there are Haitian youths passionately crisscrossing a cave. They participate in a project to train guides for cave exploration under the supervision of a French cave explorer. The film looks at the expedition of a mysterious cave and reveals the strong ethnicity and rich culture of Haiti, where the people have composed minds and the wisdom of life. The film shows people overcoming a devastating situation caused by a powerful hurricane with lilting and fast tempo music. (Billy CHOI)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 1 | 12:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Ascending Afghanistan

Ascending Afghanistan: Women Rising by Erik Osterholm
USA | 2017 – 49 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

Thirteen women from Afghanistan, where the human rights of women are ravaged by war and religious issues, decide to climb Afghan’s highest peak, Noshaq. Although from a society that prohibits women from climbing mountains, the women, with the support of U.S. non-profit organization Ascend and instructions from 20-year veteran female climber Danka Gillbert, slowly learn basic climbing techniques to move closer to their dream of mountain climbing. Unfortunately, the social system constantly forces them to fight against fear and hardships, yet in the end, despite injuries during the climb and having to deal with the fear of heights, they finally step on to the top of Noshaq at their own will. This is a great story of a group of female Afghani climbers mountain climbing. (Christine PAE)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 2 | 17:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Boy Nomad

Boy Nomad by Niobe Thompson
Mongolia, Canada | 2018 – 22 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

9-year old Janibek is a young nomad boy living in the Mongolian Altai. A nomad life which requires tending to livestock at an early age and constant seasonal migration makes the experience of being young short-lived. Janibek’s father wishes his son to enjoy his precious youth as much as he can while learning the traditional ways of life and survival. Like his father, Janibek hopes of becoming a shepherd, and his love for horse riding enables him to become an outstanding young man who carries out the mission of herding livestock over the harsh winter mountains. This film captures the passage of nomad tradition from father to son, from one generation to another. (SEO Do-eun)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 2 | 17:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Breath

Breath by Ulises Fierro – Mexico | 2018 – 18 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

No life form can live without breathing, but when it comes to climbing, especially sport climbing, it’s crucial. The basics of tension and relaxation, and performing mind control in the face of fear of falling is all about ‘breathing’. The film’s protagonist Margarita Cardoso is attempting the high-level 5.13d rock climbing route ‘Quien pompo?’ in Mexico City. Her breathing becomes coarser with repeated falls. The film focuses on the changes in Cardoso’s breathing and expression. After the dark clouds gather and a rain shower passes through, she’s back at it again and becomes the first female climber to succeed. Her expression when she reaches her goal is priceless. (LEE Young-jun)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 2 | 12:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Connected

Connected by Aleksandra Maciejczyk
Poland | 2018 – 20 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

An opening scene of the movie shows an old couple skiing downhill on the snow in darkness. The wife sets up the receiver to connect her husband, who is blind, for skiing together. The husband manages his movements to her voice through the receiver, and they both ski, repeatedly connecting and disconnecting. The camera attached to both records the moment they ski together, by focusing in-out and sound onoff over and over. The film describes a beautiful love of the old, who lean on and are independent, but also care for each other and share their life, on the snowy landscape. (MAENG Soo-jin)

Schedule:
September 9th | Monday | Alps Cinema 2 | 12:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Craig's Reaction

Craig’s Reaction by Cameron Maier
USA | 2018 – 24 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

Colorado-native climber Craig DeMartino lost his right leg and seriously injured his spine when he fell 100ft from the Sundance Buttress in 2002. He survived this terrible experience to start over as the first physicallyimpaired climber to ascend the El Capitan Zodiac route in one day. Each day he must depend on pain killers but, as a climbing missionary who preaches endless possibilities, to his friends he’s a full-time climber with a great sense of humor. It is quite impressive to see the daily life he goes about with the warm support from his family, while the illustration of the fall and how it happened is portrayed expertly in the film. (Christine PAE)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 2 | 14:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Mama

Mama by Vladimir Kott – Estonia | 2018 – 19 min. | Fiction
Section: UMFF Life

Two young social workers are taking a runaway child-Yanis back to his mother by ferry. But he is trying to escape even in the ferry. In the middle of the icy Baltic Sea, sea itself represent boy’s mind and his future. The Estonian traditional lullaby in the last scene sang by woman social worker feels like the requiem for the boy. (Jinna LEE)

Schedule:
September 6th | Friday | Alps Cinema 3 | 16:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Moon Thread

Moon, Thread by Chung Sum, Lee Doh
Korea | 2018 – 14 min. | Fiction
Section: NETPAC

Min-hee is a young girl who lives with her grandfather in a remote location after she loses her mother. When her grandfather also dies soon after, she sets out alone to find her mother. The film expresses the little girl’s emotions through conceptual symbols such as a hanging thread, an old clock, candlelight, a cave, shadows, and a story of a prince and princess, while linking natural elements such as the river and fields with the fantastic image of the moon. (KIM Se-jin)

Schedule:

Trailer:

 

Parasol Peak

Parasol Peak by Johannes Aitzetmueller, Jeb Hardwick
Austria, UK | 2018 – 30 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

World-renown hang drum performer Manu Delago and his ensemble team held a live mountain music concert on the Alps which was recorded on site. Hang drums, cello, xylophone and trumpet as well as sound collections of tree stump beats, rocks dropping into a brook, and the hillside winds brushing through recording mics all come together to create amazing tunes. From foggy plains, a lake hidden in the mountaintops to steep rocks they hang from, the performers present harmonies unique to the diverse landscapes that change by altitude. This film is like the mountain’s gift through which one can experience a special music concert from the very heart of the mountains. (SEO Do-eun)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 1 | 15:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Supermonk

Supermonk by Shenang Gyamjo Tamang
Nepal, Taiwan | 2018 – 18 min. | Fiction
Section: UMFF Life

Tashi is an 11 year old monk who’s crazy about action films. While sneaking out to watch a film in the village, he meets another boy his age wearing an army uniform. Soon the army and the rebels arrive at the temple looking for the boy soldier. This film’s background is Nepalese Civil War prolonged over 10 years and real action hero lives only in a movie but in our lives also. (Jinna LEE)

Schedule:
September 9th | Monday | Alps Cinema 2 | 9:30 am
September 9th | Monday | UMFF Agora | 13:00 pm
September 10th | Tuesday | Alps Cinema 2 | 10:00 am
September 10th | Tuesday | UMFF Agora | 13:00 pm

Trailer:

 

The Fox

The Fox by Sadegh Javadi Nikjeh
Iran | 2018 – 10 min. | Animation
Section: Nature & People

This is an animation about the true story of the Iranian Qajar Kingdom’s first king who enjoyed fox hunting from the fox’s point-of-view. A fox who wears a bell on its neck after being captured by humans is engulfed with sentiments for its first love and vows revenge towards the humans who captured it. Restrained drawings, lines and silhouettes create a powerful and piercing portrayal of the fox’s complex emotions on the verge of exploding set against the pale winter landscape. (MAENG Soo-jin)

Schedule:
September 10th | Tuesday | Alps Cinema 2 | 12:00 pm

Trailer:

 

The Stars Whisper

The Stars Whisper by Yeo Seonhwa – Korea | 2019 – 18 min. | Fiction
Section: UMFF Life

This is a musical film filled with fairytalelike tones dealing with the story of a young hearing-impaired girl and a young boy who likes the stars. The film is quite exceptional in its delicate and detailed directorial treatment. Each line in the song lyrics harmoniously combine the contradicting aspects of the subject of deafness and the film’s musical structure. Especially the children’s performances are outstanding, while the film turns daily spaces such as the school into an impressive stage. In addition, beautiful rural landscapes and sensibilities are captured well. (KIM Se-jin)

Schedule:
September 6th | Friday | Alps Cinema 3 | 13:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Three Thousand

Three Thousand by Asinnajaq
Canada | 2017 – 15 min. | Documentary
Section: UMFF Focus

The film is a compilation of NFB’s archival footage and newsreel images of the Canada Inuit First Nation from 1920 to present, with the addition of an animation by the director. It begins with the Inuktitut language, then different images are stitched together with added dreamlike sounds, traditional music, and whispering sounds, all adding to this luminescent film. (Jinna LEE)

Schedule:
September 7th | Saturday | Eonyang Theater 1 | 13:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Treeline

Treeline by Jordan Manley – USA | 2018 – 40 min. | Documentary
Section: International Competition

The film begins with the question, ‘what is a tree?’ Following this question, it shows twisted old trees, bent into mysterious shapes, which still stand even after thousands of years holding their branches stretched upward. And, there are intercut scenes of sliding snowboarders and skiers going through a forest covered with snow. This film introduces the people who encounter the oldest trees in Canada, US and Japan and learn the wisdom of life, communing with their history and the lives they have lived. It is a beautiful movie that quietly stares at trees which have been living for eternity, facing winds and snow. (Billy CHOI)

Schedule:
September 8th | Sunday | Alps Cinema 1 | 15:00 pm

Trailer:

 

For more information about the program and schedule please visit the official website of the festival: UMFF Website

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