This year’s newly established Human Section will highlight directors and films that focus on the voices of those who have been marginalized throughout history. Media and history, and even films, have mostly remembered only the powerful and the famous. Yet the passersby on the street and the coffee shop workers we meet every day each have an individual voice, while being part of the whole. Ulsan Ulju Mountain Film Festival (UMFF) aims to bring these little guys to the limelight, providing an opportunity to reflect on their voices, stories, and lives. We present three later works by Agnès Varda, a key figure in French New Wave cinema: The Gleaners and I, The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later, and Face Places, which shed light on things that are discarded and people who are forgotten in our modern society.
UMFF has always featured a variety of sports films from abroad. This year, we bring films about people playing on the sidelines, not the stars of popular sports. We will be moved by films like EXIT, about a college mountain club member who gets to show off his skills during a disaster scenario, Sandstorm, exploring the unfamiliar world of female wrestlers, Sprinter, with episodes like real life experiences by short distance track athletes, and Rebound, about a group of ragtag band of athletes creating a miracle. We will also feature stories about people seeking solace and healing in nature. Members of an actors’ mountain club find comfort as they climb Bukhansan in At the Peak of Our Own Story, while Pamir shares the painful memory of those who lost friends and family in the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014. Lastly, the road movie featuring a Turkish minority grandfather and his granddaughter, Cloves & Carnations, will bring the harsh reality in the screen to a fantastical and uplifting finale.
Jinna Lee, Programmer