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PROGRAM

NETPAC Award

Trembling Mountain - Kesang Tseten LAMA

Its raw emotion, its strong community spirit, a vivid proof of a people's courage.

International Competition

JURY’S COMMENTS
The four jurors watched 27 films which were selected by the programmer for the competition. 1220 minutes film, i.e. 20 hours and 20 minutes. These films give perfectly proof of the wide range of topics in mountain film, reaching from spectacular climbing action to touching portrays of landscapes and people. Sometimes you have to look for the mountains, however. A jury‘s perspective is always focused on the filmmakers’ achievements: message, story, protagonists, locations, pictures and authenticity. The latter is more important than ever in times of fake news and want-to-be stars. The final decision finding is always an exciting process when the jury members exchange intensively their different opinions and eventually agree on the winners. We want to thank Billy Choi and her colleagues for the careful preparation of the short list which was a great help for our duty as well as Roc Lee and Jayes Kim for their work. And we want to thank the festival for inviting us into this jury and to the festival.

Grand Prize

Ultra - Balazs SIMONYI
ULTRA follows a number of people who are pushing the extreme limits of the human race by running 46 kilometers in 36 hours. What’s interesting is that the director himself has participated in this race 4 times and is actually running 246 km, which demonstrates the way he approaches the issue at hand. Because the filmmaker is both the observer and the observed, the story and sentiments of this film are multilateral. Through an extremely personal experience, the director poses the question of what it means to be a human being and how one should live their life. However, the one who is running in ULTRA is not the director or the mother who has lost her 26 years old son or a middle-aged person who is experiencing their 5th failure. We present the Grand Prize to this film for the excruciating way it portrays the pain and dedication of these people who reflect a part of ourselves, not knowing where we are going or when this harsh run will ever end. This film makes us ask ourselves why we are running this agonizing race of life.

Best Alpinism Film

Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey - Dave O'LESKE

The film deals with something that is not easy for regular people to understand. But the original ‘dirtbag’ Fred Beckey was different. The phrase ‘Will belay for food!!!’ shows how strong his beliefs are. We admire how he lived his life because we understand just how difficult it is to live your life, focused on only one thing. It is said that the most important part of life is the fact that you are alive. Now that he is gone, his spirit will live on in our hearts.
LEE Myeong-hui

Best Climbing Film

Ice Calling - Benjain SOTO FERRARIS, Cristobal DE ALBA DE LA PENA

Two Mexicans climbing an ice wall - that sure sounds like sensations, surprises and tragedy. The film Ice calling however shows two strong and ambitious men who prove great responsibility in dealing with the special risks of ice climbing and astonishing technical expertise. The viewers get to know the protagonists closely, follow the ups and downs of their trip, experience moments of despair and joy. The filmmakers don‘t present them as superhuman heroes, but Alpinists who make a dream come true.
Michael PAUSE

Best Adventure & Exploration Film

Wonderful Losers: A Different World - Arunas MATELIS

We are so used to focusing only on the winners. But there are also those who stand behind winners like shadows and help them shine. And there are many more losers than there are winners. So the way we see them becomes more important. The depth and level of skill demonstrated in this film that deals with the aspirations and reality of human beings is truly surprising and outstanding. Taking a dry, composed, observation point of view strikes a stark contrast against a setting bursting with various incidents and noises to complete a fantastic story. Whether it is an athlete in the spotlight or a gregario who stands in their shadow supporting them, they all have aspirations and live in time where despair and success coexist. We do not know if their life is a blessing or a curse but this film is truly a blessing for us.
Because we are able to live and breathe with them.
We wish to share this blessing with those who do their role in supporting winners and the ‘wonderful losers’ who receive this award.
LEE Jae-kyoo

Best Nature & People Film

Miss Maria, Skirting the Mountain - Ruben MENDOZA

Like a stone thrown in a small pond capable of making waves across the oceans, the story of Miss Maria comes from a forgotten village in the Colombian mountains, to deeply move the hearts of everyone who has the luck to see Ruben Mendoza’s portrait of this amazing character. His documentary achieves this by putting this precious, fragile and brave human being in a complex yet transparent dialogue with a community first, with society then, and finally with humanity at large and even spirituality, making her little great story relevant to each and every one.
Sergio FANT

Special Jury Prize

W - Steven SCHWABL

W is a mysteriously timeless work resurfacing from a foggy recent past to travel straight into the future, surprisingly and humorously expanding the idea of what a mountain film is and could be. By turning mountaineering into a feverish state of mind, and despite being paradoxically mostly set in an urban space familiar to most of us, it succeeds in bringing the viewers closer to the most extremes mental experiences which great adventurers, just like his unwitting supporting protagonist Reinhold Messner, have gone through in the most difficult, transfixing and visionary moments on their major climbing achievements.
Sergio FANT

Audience Award

The Lonely Road - Mohammadreza HAFEZI

Competition - International Competition

Entries from around the globe are submitted to the Ulju Mountain Film Festival (UMFF)’s International Competition, even with the very selective genre requirement of “mountain”. This year, there were a total of 388 entries – 128 more than in 2017 – from 42 countries around the world. Of those, 27 films will enter the final competition. Some of the more noteworthy films give us insight about passionate people challenging themselves endlessly in climbing and in other mountaineering activities, as well as pose in-depth questions about the history and philosophy of alpinism and climbing. There are also various environmental films dealing with the dedication and sacrifices by those trying to protect nature from the harmful consequences of global climate changes in places like Bangladesh, Patagonia, and Africa. The 27 finalists selected among 388 are not only high in quality, but also diverse in genre, bringing documentary, fiction, and animation to our mountain film festival.​

Adaptation: Bangladesh-Sea Level Rise

Justin DESHIELDS

Addicted to Altitude

Pavol BARABAS

Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey

Dave O'LESKE

Fruition, The Life and Dreams of Nicolas Muller

Sean FEE, Martin LUCHSINGER

Hansjorg Auer-No Turning Back

Damiano LEVATI

Heinz Zak–A Free Spirit in the Vertical World

Malte ROEPER

Ice Calling

Benjamín SOTO FERRARIS, Cristobal DE ALBA DE LA PEÑA

Imagination: Tom Wallisch

Dave MOSSOP

Inwards

Ulf WOGENSTEIN

Land of the Wind

Laura BELINKY

Loved by All: The Story of Apa Sherpa

Eric CROSLAND

Miss Maria, Skirting the Mountain

Rubén MENDOZA

Mountaineers

Tatiana GRAULLERA

Never Arrive, Ever

Bartosz LISEK

Psycho Vertical

Jen RANDALL

Safety Third

Taylor KEATING, Cedar WRIGHT

Stumped

Taylor KEATING, Cedar WRIGHT

Thank You for the Rain

Julia DAHR

The Endless Winter II; Surfing Europe

Matthew CROCKER, James DEAN

The Last Honey Hunter

Ben KNIGHT

The Last Ice Hunters

Jure BRECELJNIK, Rožle BREGAR

The Lonely Road

Mohammadreza HAFEZI

The Winter Surf 2 : Passion

KIM Dong-gi, KIM Seong-eun

Ultra

Balazs SIMONYI

Uruca II–Bugaboos Edition

Erick GRIGOROVSKI

W

Steven SCHWABL

Wonderful Losers: A Different World

Arūnas MATELIS