Director Minsu Park Interview (CHADDR-a river between us)

Creative Documentary Center

The Peloponnisos International Doc Film Festival's purpose has always been to introduce the audience of Peloponnese some very special films from all over the world. This year according to the difficult circumstances it was decided that there will be a hybrid version of the festival with an ONLINE release in February and a live premiere in May. In this situation we asked volunteers and festival staff to interview the directors of the ONLINE program to bring them closer with the audience even if they couldn't have met in the theaters. Behind the scenes information, personal stories and more in depth approach to the films are available through these interviews. The interviews of the films included in the "Claiming Freedom" tribute have been conducted by the students of Theater Studies of University of Peloponnese, as one part of our collaboration with the University.

Minsu Park, the director of CHADDR-a river between us, talks about his experiences, his difficulties and personal reasons for doing this film, in the interview below.


We are here at the 7th Peloponnisos Doc Film Festival Online Edition with Minsu Park, director of the film CHADDR: a river between us, with a very interesting story. Thank you so much for being with us Minsu.

Would you like to say a few words?


The Peloponnisos Doc Film Festival is my first time in my life. I am so happy to introduce my film to the Greek audience. Because of the corona, we cannot meet directly at the movie premiere, but we look forward to seeing you at the premiere in May. Until then, you are in good health.

 My first question is why this film, why did you decide to make this story into a documentary?

I accidentally saw a photo exhibition on the way to school in the Himalayas. At that time, I became interested, and I took my shooting equipment and went to a small Himalayan village on the border of India-Tibet, where I met the actors and families of my movie, and I was fascinated by their pure attitude, belief and philosophy of life. In addition, I was moved by the greatness of nature that cannot be expressed in words. So I wanted to make a movie about the stories of people disappearing as humans and nature coexist.


How did you meet the protagonists? 

I heard that there are students going from home to school through the Himalayas, but I went there too late so I couldn't meet anyone. All the students who went to school were gone. So I got a lot of information and found out that there is a school that these students attend in the city Leh. So, several students were recommended by the school principal. Among many students, as soon as I first saw the main character of my movie, I really wanted to work on a movie with this friend.

What were the difficulties while preparing and shooting this documentary?


There were many difficult and dangerous moments to shoot a movie. First of all, it was very difficult because of altitude sickness because it is about 4,000 meters high in the Himalayas. Fortunately, I got used to it, so I was able to finish the shoot well. 

Second, shooting in winter, the Himalayan weather is -20 degrees and -30 degrees It was so cold that I had a lot of trouble. 

third, While moving through the Himalayan river, I had many unexpected experiences due to various climate changes. The ice broke on the frozen river and fell several times, and there were many dangerous moments where I and the sound director fell into the river. There were many things that fell apart while climbing the rock. 

 Looking back now, I think I was really lucky.


What did it mean for you personally, what did you take out of this experience?


I learned a lot from this movie. I remember what the protagonist's father said during the filming, please remember the things we existed in this world. In a small Himalayan village, I learned the heart of parents who sacrifice for the future of their children, their pure heart toward nature, and the belief of Buddhist circulation. I think this is a great happiness and value as a movie director that you cannot learn at any cost.

Last but not least, are you still in touch with the protagonists? How are things in the area right now?


Yes, we are in contact with each other occasionally. As you wish, the protagonist is majoring in soft engineering at  Assan university in India. Still, many Himalayan children are on a dangerous path to school. There are also many dangerous things happening in the region due to the border dispute between India and China.


We would like to thank Minsu Park for his wonderful words, don't forget to check out the film CHADDR-a river between us that will be available February 5th at 00:00 (GR time) on this link .



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