UMFF Festival Director
I believe that Korea is a country of mountains. Not only because 70% of our land is made up of mountains, but because almost every town, even major cities, are surrounded by mountains, allowing us to hike, breathe fresh air, and eat its produce. We also turn to our mountains to heal. They are not something to conquer, but a part of our lives.
When I became the festival master for Ulju Mountain Film Festival in April, I learned that mountain film is a genre, and that there are about 20 mountain film festivals around the world. This genre encompasses films that deal with mountaineering, including alpinism, rock climbing, mountain itself, and films about the relationship between man and mountain. The main program of the third Ulju Mountain Film Festival is mountain films, and introduces films about nature and adventure. Himalaya-Nepal will be showcased as a special program, and world class climber Sir Chris Bonington from England will attend to tell us about his films and to be awarded the Ulju Mountain Culture Award.
I faintly remember watching The Mountain starring Spencer Tracy as a youth. An airplane crashes in the middle of the Alps in the dead of winter and most of the passengers are presumed dead. Tracy plays the role of a mountain climber with a greedy brother. When this greedy brother decides to find the plane to rob the dead, Tracy’s character reluctantly follows to protect him. The film reminded me of the words of Corporal Um Hong-gil, who holds a record for 16 8,000 meter peaks: “On the mountain, greed is quite useless. The mountain never, and nature also never, allows the greedy.”
Thank you for all who visited and helped our film festival. I hope that mountaineers, filmmakers, and the audience can all enjoy the film festival here under the Yeongnam Alps.