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South Korean filmfest honors Iran’s ‘Beloved’

The 2019 Ulju Mountain Film Festival in South Korea awards Iranian doc ‘Beloved’.

The 2019 edition of the Ulju Mountain Film Festival (UMFF) in South Korea has awarded Iranian documentary ‘Beloved’.

Directed by Yasser Talebi, the acclaimed documentary received the NETPAC Award at the South Korean event.

The UMFF jury wrote ‘Beloved’ won the award for “the compelling resonance of time and space, the balanced interplay between nature and humans, the resistant yet warm protagonist and making the camera absent.”

The documentary is about the difficult but favorable life of an 83-year-old mother named Firouzeh who runs a unique life in the Alborz Mountains in north Iran.

Firouzeh hikes across the rugged landscape carrying bundles of wood. When she was a young girl, a marriage was arranged for her with an older man, with whom she had 11 children. Now, none of her children come to visit her and her attempts to get closer to them remain futile.

The 63-minute documentary has attended many global events, including the 2018 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the 16th Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in the US, the 69th Berlin International Film Festival in Germany, the 37th Fajr Film Festival in Iran, the 38th International Istanbul Film Festival in Turkey, the 16th Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival in Armenia, the 16th EBS International Documentary Festival in South Korea, and the 67th Trento International Film Festival in Italy where it won the jury special mention and a UNESCO honorable mention.

Most recently it received the best feature documentary award and a diploma at the 15th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, a special mention at the 25th Shanghai TV Festival in China, nomination at the 33rd Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival in Estonia, and Special Prize at the Kranjska Gora International Film Festival in Slovenia.

‘Beloved’ has also taken the first place among the top five mid-length films selected by the Canadian audience at the 26th Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto and received the best photography award and the High School Students Award at the Journey Section of The 14th Sole Luna Doc Film Festival in Italy.

As the only mountain film festival in Korea, the UMFF started the NETPAC Award in 2018, and this year eleven films from different countries, including South Korea, China, India and Turkey were competing for the award.

Under the slogan of “The Road Together” the fourth edition of the UMFF was held on September 6-10, 2019 in Ulsan, South Korea.