Posted on Nov 22, 2012

Urban Island Documentary by Seoul based filmmakers wins Audience Award at Premiers Courts

Good news echoes through the alleys of Seoul. “Urban Island,” a compelling documentary music video co-created by filmmakers Nils Clauss and Namhui Park, secures the prestigious AUDIENCE AWARD at the renowned French international film festival, Premiers Courts. This cinematic music video, featuring the evocative song VARÚÐ by Icelandic band SIGUR RÓS, achieved an overwhelming 70% of the votes. This affirms its resonance with viewers.

A Glimpse into Urban Island

Urban Island delves into the poignant tale of a homeless man in his forties. He is a silent dweller of Seoul’s streets for over eight years. This unsung protagonist is part of a tight-knit homeless community. Together they find solace in a modest park adjacent to the train tracks of Yongsan Station. His unwavering refusal to accept charity propels him into the city streets each night, sustaining himself by collecting recyclables.

The Essence of Urban Island

This project, rooted in the haunting melodies of SIGUR RÓS’s VARÚÐ, unravels the daily struggles of a marginalized individual within the metropolitan embrace of Seoul. Capturing the challenges faced by the homeless community challenges societal prejudices, offering a poignant perspective. The modest park near Yongsan Station, their chosen refuge, stands as both sanctuary and testament to societal exclusion.

A Cinematic Collaboration

Urban Island emerges as a collaborative effort, a synergy of vision between Nils Clauss and Namhui Park. Nils not only directed but also served as the cinematographer, editor, and colorist during post-production. This documentary premiered at the group exhibition at “Culture Station Seoul 284“. Further, it achieved recognition by being shortlisted for the Film Grant Award by “The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film.” Now it receives more acclaim by winning the 1st Prize Audience Award at the 7th Premiers Courts International Film Festival in 2012.

SIGUR RÓS: A Sonic Landscape

Sigur Rós, the Icelandic post-rock band formed in 1994, provides the soul-stirring soundtrack for Urban Island. Their ethereal sound, led by Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson’s falsetto vocals and unique instrumental elements, has earned them critical and commercial acclaim. With eight studio albums, including the celebrated Ágætis byrjun, they continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

Let’s celebrate the achievement and delve into the rich tapestry of Urban Island. It is a film that transcends boundaries, challenges perceptions, and brings the unseen facets of Seoul to the forefront. Witness the profound impact of storytelling, cinematography, and music converging to create a remarkable cinematic experience.