"Just 30kms north from here lies the demilitarized zone, a painful remembrance of the war that ripped the Korean Peninsula into two, 70 years ago.
Now close by, a film festival has raised its curtains to spread a message of peace and communication."
"For the 13th DMZ international documentary film festival this year, we've selected 126 recent films from 39 countries. The films highlight the world's different issues, and they resonate with the DMZ festival's core values of peace, communication and life."
The festival started on Thursday and will run for a week.
But due to the pandemic, only half of the seats will be filled.
"We've certainly had questions about opening this festival when everybody is so tired and beaten down. But even during the pandemic, the cameras are still rolling."
The DMZ festival is streaming an online OTT service called VODA, named after the Korean word "Boda", which means "to watch" or "to see."
Anyone in South Korea can access this platform to not only watch about 180 films, but also to see the vibrant world depicted by them.
The opening film screened at the festival was "Soup and Ideology."
The Korean-Japanese director, Yang Yong-hi talks about mending a lifetime of friction caused by her family and their different ideologies.
"My parents were supporters of North Korea. It took me 15 years to sit at the same table with them and laugh because we've had such different values. The soup in the title means a meal. Let's all share a meal together even though we have different ideologies."
Her brothers live just over the DMZ in North Korea, only miles away from where her film is screening.
"It means so much to me that my film is opening the festival that takes place so close to North Korea. I believe they've selected my film because it hits close to the festival's purpose. How to make peace with the people around you."
The festival also features films by foreign directors, keen on showing the Korean way of life.
"I want to show that in classical music, Korea is the best now The goal is for the movie to be watched everywhere in the world so that everybody knows better culture in Korea, and way of life, and how wonderful people there are."
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News, Paju