“Gaucho Americano” by Chilean director Nicolás Molina wins Golden Gentian for Best Film at the 70th Trento Film Festival

Published 07/05/2022

Molina recounts the life of his fellow countrymen who emigrated to work on a ranch in the spectacular landscapes of Idaho, where they learned what it means to be foreigners.

The CAI Golden Gentian for the best film about mountaineering, mountain people and life in the mountains goes to the Chinese film Dark Red Forest;
The “City of Bolzano” Golden Gentian for the best film on exploration and adventure goes to La panthère des neiges;
Silver Gentians for Best Technical-Artistic Contribution and Best Short Film go respectively to Akeji, le souffle de la montagne and the Basque film Heltzear;
The Jury Prize goes to Lassù by Bartolomeo Pampaloni.

The Grand Prize travels across the ocean and goes to a Chilean director who made his film in the mountains of Idaho. The international jury at this 70th Trento Film Festival has indeed awarded the film Gaucho Americano by Nicolás Molina the prestigious “City of Trento” Golden Gentian for Best Film – Grand Prize. Set against the vast and rugged landscape of the American West, the film follows Joaquín and Victor, both gauchos from Patagonia, hired as sheep farmers to work on a ranch, showing the complexity of living in a foreign land. «In this tender, humorous yet ultimately very honest take on the cowboy mythos as seen through the eyes of two Patagonian gauchos, cultures are clashing and everyone dreams of a better life. Director Nicolás Molina – also serving as a cinematographer – beautifully captures the everyday struggles of his two protagonists, showing that for some, the American Dream comes at a steep price», reads the jury’s motivation.

The Club Alpino Italiano Golden Gentian for the best film on mountaineering, mountain people and life in the mountains goes to the Chinese film Dark Red Forest by Jin Huaqing (China/2021/83′): visual splendour and spiritual exploration are combined in the images of a monastery on a snowy plateau in Tibet, where 20,000 Buddhist nuns live, surrounded by a harsh landscape and isolated from the world.

The “City of Bolzano” Golden Gentian for the best film on exploration or adventure goes to La panthère des neiges by Marie Amiguet (France/2021/92′), which takes the public to the Tibetan plateau, one of the last sanctuaries of the wild world, where the search for the legendary snow leopard is transformed into a celebration of the planet.

The Silver Gentian for the best artistic-technical contribution has been awarded to Akeji, le souffle de la montagne by Corentin Leconte and Mélanie Schaan (France/2020/72′), filmed in the most traditional and spiritual part of Japan, featuring an elderly painter and his herbalist wife, who live in their hermitage in total harmony with nature.

The Silver Gentian for Best Short Film goes to Heltzear by Mikel Gurrea (Spain/2021/17′), set in San Sebastián in 2000, in the middle of the Basque conflict: Sara, a 15-year-old girl who loves climbing, writes a letter to her distant mother while she trains for the most difficult climb of her life.

Lastly, the Jury Prize has been awarded to Lassù by Bartolomeo Pampaloni (Italy, France/2022/81′): the story of the Sicilian builder Nino, who retreated to Mount Gallo, near Palermo after being struck down by faith, transforming himself into a prophet and converting an old observation post into a temple.

The International Jury

The international jury for the 2022 competition was made up of the directors Michelangelo Frammartino, who made Il buco, Special Jury Prize in Venice in 2021, and Illum Jacobi, Danish explorer and filmmaker, who presented his debut film The Trouble With Nature in Trento, Marta Bałaga, a Polish journalist and film critic based in Helsinki, Estefania “Stefi” Troguet, a young mountaineer and Himalayan climber from Andorra, and Christian Quendler, Professor at the University of Innsbruck, who heads the research project “Delocating Mountains: Cinematic Landscapes and the Alpine Model”.

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