Posted on Nov 4, 2015

Urban Island: A Cinematographic Journey at Interfilm Berlin

Unveiling the Layers of Life in Seoul’s Urban Landscape

Embark on a captivating cinematic journey with Urban Island. This documentary music video by Seoul Cinematographer Nils Clauss and filmmaker Namhui Park screens at the prestigious International Short Film Festival Berlin (Interfilm). This visual exploration delves into the heart of Seoul. It captures the unique narrative of a homeless man against the backdrop of one of the world’s renowned film festivals.

The Project “Urban Island”

Set to the haunting melody of the song “Varúð” by Icelandic band Sigur Rós, this project encapsulates the life of a homeless man in his forties. He has been surviving on the streets of Seoul for over eight years. As a cinematographer and director of photography (DOP) based in Seoul, I collaborated with director Namhui Park. We wanted to challenge societal norms and shed light on the struggles of those living on the fringes.

The Cinematographer’s Perspective

We crafted a film that documents the hardships of a homeless person. It also challenges perceptions about those living on the fringes of society. The synergy between visual elements and narrative unfolds in every frame. We portray the struggles and resilience of the protagonist against the urban backdrop of Seoul.

Exploring the Urban Landscape

The narrative unfolds in a little park next to the train tracks of Yongsan Station, where a small homeless community finds both escape and shelter. This seemingly insignificant space becomes a focal point, reflecting the exclusion and societal fencing experienced by those dwelling on the edges. Is it an island of refuge, or a place of exile? The audience is left to contemplate the significance.

Screening Details at Interfilm Berlin

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness Urban Island on the big screen at Interfilm Berlin. The festival is scheduled between the 10th and 15th of November. Catch the screenings:

*Date: 2015.11.12, Time: 15:00h, Venue: Babylon – Kino 2
*Date: 2015.11.14, Time: 21:00h, Venue: Grüner Salon

The Journey Beyond

Premiering at the group exhibition at “Culture Station Seoul 284,” the film has garnered accolades, winning the 1st Prize Audience Award at the 7th Premiers Courts International Film Festival 2012. Additionally, it was shortlisted for the 2013 Film Grant Award of “The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film.”

Urban Island transcends the boundaries of conventional storytelling, offering a profound cinematic experience that challenges perceptions and showcases the synergy between the visual and narrative elements.