The Ulsan Ulju Mountain Film Festival (UMFF) office is located at the entrance to Ipsan-ro in Ganwolsan, part of the Yeongnam Alps. For the UMFF staff, the mountain serves as more than just a workplace; it transforms with each passing season, adapts to unpredictable weather, and provides a haven for water deer, squirrels, and pheasants. Hence, UMFF recognizes the profound and everchanging beauty of nature. This year, the Nature Section features 12 films about people who appreciate and explore the wonders of our nature. Let’s venture beyond Ulju, Korea, and reflect on the vanishing species and the global efforts to coexist with nature – to a Florida Wildlife Corridor in Path of the Panther, to Iceland, where two girls rescue baby puffins in Puffling, and to Arctic Siberia, where a group of seals leaves its mark on the shoreline, captured through close-up footage in Haulout.
The UMFF office also actively promotes waste reduction initiatives, including the conscientious reduction of paper cup usage. We look around, hoping such small efforts can slow down the melting rate of the Greenland glaciers – Into the Ice – or delay the transformation of Earth into a barren, lifeless planet like Mars – Earth the New Mars. Watching two girls in Planet B express their thoughts and actively combat climate change encourages our own self-reflection.
In addition, there are those who have found solutions to their specific fields in nature. A Michelin rated restaurant chef creates a sustainable kitchen in She Chef, and various experts are introduced in The Taste of Weather, as they draw inspiration from the weather to nurture their respective fields of literature, art, and recording. We are reminded that we must still coexist within the vast embrace of nature.
Jinna Lee, Programme