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Korea's only mountain film festival opens in Ulju

Movies 22:23 April 02, 2021

ULSAN, April 2 (Yonhap) -- This year's Ulju Mountain Film Festival (UMFF) kicked off Friday for an 11-day run in the southeastern county of Ulju, with 146 movies from 43 countries set to be screened.

Under the slogan of "My Green Mountain," the sixth edition of South Korea's only mountain-themed film fest runs through April 11 in Ulju, part of the Ulsan metropolitan city 414 kilometers from Seoul.

The Ulju Mountain Film Festival opens in a drive-in theater in the southeastern county of Ulju on April 2, 2021. A total of 146 movies from 43 countries will be screened during the 11-day mountain-themed film event. (Yonhap)

Unlike the previous editions held every fall, the UMFF took place in spring beginning this year, becoming the year's first international film festival to open in South Korea.

Organizers said this year's slogan implies a wish for all people to greet the green mountains of the Yeongnam Alps that will come with spring, referring to a group of relatively tall mountains in the southeastern region.

In this file photo, UMFF Chairman Lee Sun-ho (2nd from L) speaks during a news conference on the sixth UMFF in Ulsan, southeastern South Korea, on March 9, 2021. UMFF Festival Director Bae Chang-ho is seated second from the right. (Yonhap)

Like last year, the organizers will simultaneously operate online and drive-in theaters, dubbed UMFF On Air and Drive-in UMFF, respectively, to cope with fears of COVID-19 transmissions.

The opening ceremony will not be held for the same reasons, they said.

In addition, the festival will introduce the so-called Silent Cinema for the first time, an outdoor theater where audience members can enjoy films wearing noise-canceling headphones.

The festival will screen 146 films from 43 countries, and 103 of them can also be watched online, the organizers said.

This photo provided by the Ulju Mountain Film Festival (UMFF) shows "K2: The Impossible Descent," the opening film of the sixth UMFF, which runs from April 2-11, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The price of online and drive-in theater tickets is set at 5,000 won (US$4.40) each, while a single offline screening ticket costs 3,000 won, they said, asking audience members to check the screening schedules of their favorite films at the festival's website (www.umff.kr). One online ticket is valid for 103 films for a period of 10 days.

"K2: The Impossible Descent," an inspiring story about the first-ever ski descent from the 8,611-meter-high K2 summit, will open the festival and "Mavzer," a Turkish film on the relationship between humans and nature, will be the closing film.

In the international competition section, 30 films from 18 countries have reached the final competition.

Ten films from seven countries have been selected to compete for the NETPAC award, which is given to the best Asian film on behalf of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema.

In this file photo, South Korean mountaineer Um Hong-gil (L) and actress Seol In-ah pose during a news conference on the sixth UMFF in Ulsan, southeastern South Korea, on March 9, 2021. (Yonhap)

The festival will also feature various programs under the themes of "Rockies - Canada," "Prequel: Alps - Switzerland," "Korean Wave," "Will for Freedom" and "Life."

Moreover, the festival will offer a set of other programs and exhibitions under the titles of "Viewing in Nature," "Story in Nature," "Singing in Nature" and "Playing in Nature."

A group of artists renowned in Ulsan will give a performance titled "Song of Spring" twice a day on April 3, 4, 10 and 11.

French mountaineer Catherine Destivelle will receive the Ulju Mountain Culture Awards, which is awarded to those who have made exceptional contributions to the progress of mountain culture, such as nature, environment, climbing films and literature.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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