Official, Audience and Independent Awards
The films in the Trento Film Festival Competition are eligible for the renowned Golden and Silver Gentians, awarded by an international jury of professionals from the world of cinema and the mountains:
“City of Trento” Grand Prix - Golden Gentian
For the film that best represents the cultural objectives inspiring the Festival overall, being of high artistic quality.
Switzerland / 2020 / 82' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
In that same nature where someone seeks resurrection, others find death. The director skillfully uses the frame of a crime story to transport the viewer with audiovisual expertise (photography and sound are valuable) into the high mountain environment and introduce him to Fabiano, a young man in search for a new self in the alleged idyllic peace of the mountain. Confused by existential doubts and feelings of guilt, it is in the new role of father that the protagonist tries to elaborate the relationship with his own, leading the film to reflect with awareness and depth on the thorny issue of family inheritance and the possible emancipation from it.
Club Alpino Italiano Prize - Golden Gentian
For the best film on mountaineering, mountain life and mountain peoples.
Iran / 2020 / 54' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
Life in mountain communities is not easy; in many cases reality reflects inequalities and minimal subsistence conditions. Holy Bread offers rough testimonies of how the Kulbars transport goods through mountain passes without the necessary technical equipment, facing dangers and extreme weather conditions, with the strong will to do whatever it takes to bring the holy bread to the family table.
“City of Bolzano” Prize - Golden Gentian
For the best exploration or adventure movie.
Bulgaria / 2021 / 102' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
Climbing and conquering mountains is every mountaineer’s dream. Taking that last step that places you at the top is what drives every moment of a climber's life. Some may argue that it's that kind of determination one needs to succeed in life, to defeat obstacles, and fulfill one's dreams. But, can unconditional love for the mountain help us be better human beings — stronger, more determined and driven? In Here I Am, Again, we not only learn about Boyan Petrov's incredible achievements, both as a climber and a zoologist, Director Polly Guentcheva shows us that there is much more to Boyan’s story than just a passion for climbing. He may be the very embodiment of courage, leading us to wonder whether a mountain can teach us to be fighters, and survivors, at any altitude.
For the best artistic - technical contribution.
Ukraine, Austria / 2020 / 85' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
How many people does it take to become a community, a homeland? What is it that creates the feeling of national identity: the perpetuating of traditions, the language, the shared nostalgia? By sending us to Austrian wooden chalets in the middle of the Ukrainian Carapates, Lukas Pitscheider's film The Last Austrians questions us about globalization, immigration, identity. Strong characters run through the narrative and it is through a precise and remarkable capture of their daily lives, the attention paid to tiny gestures and to the invisible that the director manages to ask an eminently human and contemporary question: leave or stay?
For the best short film.
China / 2020 / 24' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
In a sense, life can be boiled down to two existential questions: Where are you? And where are you going? The winning short film of Trento International Film Festival succeeds with the simplest of narratives to keep us glued to the screen, as a man in rural China walks towards his home. As daylight fades, and seasons change, we experience a slice of life in an unfiltered but highly cinematic form. As the man approaches his surprising destination, we're left wanting to know more. And what more can you ask of a short film?
Germany / 2020 / 88'Motivation of the Jury
Even in a mountain-themed film festival, sometimes it's the most down-to-earth stories that capture our hearts. The winner of the Special Jury Prize portraits an everyday drama in the life of a family in the Himalayas, as 17-year-old Stanzin embarks on the difficult and dangerous 4-day journey from her boarding school and back to her home village. Although the events are dramatic, the film is told in a slow pace and with great attention to the relationship between Stanzin and her parents. It reminds us of the price we sometimes must pay for the sake of our family.
Special mention of the jury
Audience Award - Best Mountaineering Film – Rotari
For the mountaineering, climbing and adventure film, of any length, most voted by the audience among all the films in the program.
Italy / 2020 / 54'
Audience Award - Best Feature Film - DAO-Conad
For the film most voted by the audience among the feature documentaries in Competition.
Germany, Italy / 2021 / 82' / Italian premiere
In addition to the Golden and Silver Gentians awarded to the films in Competition by the official jury, all films in the program at the Trento Film Festival compete for the following special awards, offered by the festival partners and attributed by independent juries:
CASSA RURALE DI TRENTO Solidarity Award
For the film that best presents situations of poverty, injustice, social marginalisation and isolation that can be resolved through solidarity and mutual aid, as originally took place with the cooperative movement in the valleys and mountains of Trentino.
Established by the Cassa Rurale di Trento.
Germany, Italy / 2021 / 82' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
Robert Peroni leaves Europe and settles in the midst of the snow and ice in eastern Greenland – which he had explored in 1973 – the home of the Inuit population, an ancient civilisation over time deprived of its main form of economic sustenance: seal hunting. His decision represents a fundamental lesson in solidarity for all of us and teaches us that our lives are intertwined with other people’s lives, and that each of us, with our own efforts, cooperates in the construction of the common good. By founding the "Casa Rossa", a refuge offering employment and an opportunity for dignified recovery for those who are on the edge of social alienation, he highlights the subject of ecological transition and the need to combine the future of a place, which belongs to young people and those who wish to live there, with radical transformation of the economic system, moving towards a sustainable model that makes commercial production less damaging for the environment, and in general for people’s lifestyles.
For the best work in the Near Horizons section, dedicated to films produced or filmed in Trentino Alto-Adige, to authors, productions or film schools in the region and to stories recounting the local area. Established by the three international film competitions in Trentino: the International Archaeological Film Festival of Rovereto, Trento Film Festival and Religion Today Filmfestival.
Italy / 2021 / 52' / World premiereMotivation of the Jury
Leonardo Panizza’s film deals with very topical issues using an original and never paternalistic approach, ideal for raising awareness even among the younger generation. The protagonists, charismatic and entertaining, convey the message in an alternative and effective way and face a paradoxical ascent, almost an artistic performance, illustrating however techniques and procedures typical of mountaineering, until the summit is reached.
Forum for Peace and Human Rights Award
Established in 2020 by the Council of the Autonomous Province of Trento’s Forum for Peace and Human Rights, the award goes to the film that most effectively expresses the values dear to the Forum: a culture of peace, respect for human rights, self-determination of peoples, denunciation of war and the right to sustainable development.
Iran / 2020 / 54' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
For its ability to increase our sensitivity and awareness of a remote area far from our imagination, recounting the backbreaking work of the Kurdish kulbars, who transport goods across the Iranian frontier, showing how they suffer directly the consequences of international tension and the logic of preeminent markets in the dominant economic system. The jury particularly appreciated the intensity of the kulbars’ direct testimony, gathered during long and active association, making up a collective portrait in which poverty, desperation and social marginalisation interweave in a vibrant appeal for the defence of the right to work and the right to human dignity.
Lizard Award - Travel and Adventure
Established by Lizard in 2021, the award goes to the film that most effectively expresses the concept of travel as a moment of contact with nature, cultures, customs and traditions; an adventure that makes it possible to discover and explore “new worlds” with curiosity and responsibility.
Germany, Italy / 2021 / 82' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
This film more than any other has succeeded in recounting travel and adventure in one of the most extreme inhabited lands on the planet. It contains within it many types of journey: the spectator’s journey exploring a land about which little is still known, Robert Peroni’s journey, which becomes a life mission, and the journey of a people towards survival itself.
Mario Bello Award – CCC - CAI
For the film that best reflects the values and ideals of Club Alpino Italiano. Established by the Film Centre and Film Library of Club Alpino Italiano.
Poland / 2020 / 94' / Italian premiereMotivation of the Jury
The film is a skilful but implacable story about contrasts and imbalance between the world of progress, which in the ascent of mountains seeks confirmation of its power based on competition and the accumulation of feats, and the world of a mountain people, custodians of a land of suffering and cooperation, with images of spirits that can console, but often rebuke and punish. It is the woman, expertly used by the director as a narrative yardstick, who represents the latter world; a bridge and at the same time a contradiction between the desire to ensure her son’s future is free of fatigue, but at the same time to bind him to respect traditions and the sacredness of the great Mother Earth. The needs of the two worlds meet on the slopes of the sacred mountain. The balance is fragile and intense, as the director manages to communicate well to the audience. A balance between the sounds of the world, between the need for conquest and the contemplation of beauty. The climbers listen only to themselves, instead of hearing the voice and soul of the places, expressed by their pitiless beauty. And yet something flows and courses between the two worlds; thanks to a short conversation and the sight of a photograph. An ancient awareness is handed over; the wind transports it as the woman combs vigorously combs her hair outside the tent, up to Marcin, who discovers the interruption in the equilibrium between the three climbers, who should be a sole organ breathing in unison, but are not. The other two also understand that there is an adventure involving people, and not a climbing feat, but they continue. Then all it takes is a breath of wind and everything changes. Because we are all children of the same mother. The mountains. And she can give us only one gift: teaching humans to accept their limitations, and thus to freely follow their own path.
For the film best documenting the traditions and customs of mountain people with ethno-anthropological accuracy.
Set by the Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina.
Italy / 2021 / 38' / World premiereMotivation of the Jury
Faced with the wide range of ethnographic films in this 69th edition, with authoritative and well-researched films from all over the world (Nepal, Iran, Uruguay etc.), the Special Award of the Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina has been awarded to a film that deals with pastoralism in the Val di Fiemme, and that complements the research carried out by the museum on ancient pastoral writings in the same valley. Diga recounts the innate passion for the care of herds transmitted to the younger generation in a family that has always been made up of shepherds, the harshness and difficulties of the job, now further complicated by the serious threat of predatory wolves, and the hopes for a pastoral future also for the daughters and their future families. It is a difficult but important choice for the whole community, because moving sheep to different pastures keeps grassy glades open that would otherwise be swallowed up by the forest, while renewing the turf in the pastures is also good for the landscape and the area as a whole. Indeed, as Diga, the main shepherd featured says: "Tegnì duro perché l’è la tera che ve tièn en pè" (Hold on tight because it’s the land that supports you)
MUSE VIDEONATURA Award
Established by the MUSE - Science Museum in Trento.
For the most original work, in terms of subject matter, script and editing, recounting topics such as nature, the environment, sustainability and climate change.
Italy / 2020 / 100'Motivation of the Jury
Songs of the Water Spirits explores the challenges the Ladakh community (in India) faces in dealing with a rapidly changing world. On the one hand there is a land with age-old traditions in the heart of the Himalayas, still characterised by an intimate bond to the land, where the simple life of mountain people interweaves with a strong sense of spirituality. On the other, the invasion of those looking only for a tourist resource to exploit, regardless of its fragility, cultural impoverishment, and climate change, which has clearly hit environments high in the mountains. In the middle there are the go-betweens, who on a daily basis try to overcome the gap between these two worlds and avoid conflict, preserving the rich cultural heritage, investing in the education of new generations and proposing solutions to deal with climate change based on the local context. It is an all-round approach in which conservation, awareness and innovation become crucial weapons, recognised and applied by MUSE in its own work and which it therefore could not fail to reward.
RAI Trento Award
For the best documentary on current affairs. Established by the RAI branch in Trento.
Brazil / 2020 / 84' / International premiereMotivation of the Jury
Legado Italiano is a Brazilian film made in 2020. It features Italians resident in the South American country who descend from the emigrants abandoning their home towns in Veneto and Trentino starting from 1870, in various waves. They came in search of new prospects and a better life for themselves and their loved ones, finding a new country in the vast territory of Brazil. The film shows two very different sides of the same coin. The first depicts the generations of woodcutters and farmers who cleared the forests, cultivating vines and producing the wine that is today the pride of Brazil. Their legacy is at the same time a product and a message. On the other hand, there is the story of people subjected to abuse and oppression, in their own country and away from it, crossing the Atlantic Ocean to look for a better future. The film tells stories of courage and success, but also of exploitation and great topical relevance; indeed, it is only necessary to change skin colour and cross the Mediterranean instead of the Atlantic, to find similar stories, whose legacy will certainly be with us in the near future. The film, full of significant testimony, ends with a touch of regret that many young people choose to leave the countryside and move to the city. An opportunity to appreciate history, beautiful images, interviews and above all to “meditate”.
UNESCO Dolomites World Heritage Award
For the film that best documents community awareness of the exceptional universal values recognised by UNESCO and the ability to actively preserve the geographical area.
Established by the “Fondazione Dolomiti UNESCO” and SAT Società Alpinisti Tridentini.
Italy / 2021 / 38' / World premiereMotivation of the Jury
A terse story, without rhetoric, recounting a year in the life of the extended Baldessari family of seasonally migrating shepherds, nicknamed “Diga”, as the grandfather had participated in construction of the dam (TN: diga in Italian) at Forte Buso, near Paneveggio in the Municipality of Predazzo. The narration follows the interweaving stories of several generations, showing how the job of the shepherd has evolved, essentially unchanged but with improved living conditions during the journey that takes the Baldessari family each year from the mountains of Passo Rolle to the plains of the Veneto region.
It is a life choice and a passion that not everyone understands, as Renato says, but which explodes inside like a bomb or a tsunami, representing the force that has tied the Baldessari family to this life for four generations. It is a life linked to the mountains, freedom and emotion, but also to conscious economic choices forced upon them by the market, with new difficulties represented by the presence of predators and prohibitions, especially on the plains, preventing pasture, and lastly the COVID-19 pandemic, in this case with positive repercussions.
The film and its protagonists transmit a strong message, underlining the importance of a return to the land, the need for accurate care, a new awareness in the face of natural disasters such as Storm Vaia, and a commitment to work for active conservation of the local area.
The young protagonists in the story also offer the certainty of a future: Renato’s daughters, Angelica and Chiara, who with female tenacity are continuing a difficult life divided between pastoralism and their jobs; the young grandson Sergio, who after a brief time in a carpenter’s shop, has chosen to be a full-time shepherd and has done so for five years by now, with a strong conviction that it is fundamental to share this life and job with his family.
In the end, the thing that perhaps most stands out is the great love of all those involved, both young and old, for this life of undoubted sacrifice, with its time away from one’s home and loved ones, but which also means freedom, simplicity, and a relationship with the animals and nature, because as Renato says from the beginning: «Doing a job you love has no price ».
Believing strongly in a dream makes it possible to achieve it immediately, at least partly.
UNIVERSITIES OF TRENTO, BOLZANO AND INNSBRUCK – Students, Award
Italy / 2021 / 15' / World premiereMotivation of the Jury
Schianti keeps the memory of Storm Vaia alive, recalling the events that took place in October 2018. The short film arouses the public’s empathy thanks to its astonishing photography, good pace and the moving stories of those who experienced the catastrophe at first hand. Schianti invites us to fall in love with the forest, which represents a friend, a home and a family. It invites us to understand and take care of forests, bearing in mind the knowledge handed down with constancy from one generation to another since time immemorial.