71st Trento Film Festival: slower, softer and more profound

Published 06/04/2023

Over 130 films and more than 150 events for all ages are scheduled in Trento from 28 April to 7 May, to explore mountain stories and cultures from all over the world

After the special 70th anniversary edition, terminating only recently when the Scalare il Tempo exhibition closed, Trento Film Festival has not come to a halt and continues its journey through the highest lands on the planet, in search of stories, cultures and traditions to recount to its public through the languages of film, literature and art. From 28 April to 7 May Trento thus confirms itself as the international capital of mountain film and culture – as has taken place annually since 1952 – with over 130 films and more than 150 events for all ages. The Festival will see the participation of Italian and international guests such as the mountaineers Hervé Barmasse, Tamara Lunger, Alex Txikon, Sílvia Vidal, David Göttler and Thomas Huber, the writer and climber Anna Fleming, the explorer Alex Bellini, the writers Mauro Corona, Francesca Melandri, Enrico Camanni, Tiziano Fratus and Davide Longo, the actress Violante Placido, the photographer Jim Herrington, the journalist and screenwriter Andrea Purgatori and many others. In 2023, the highly popular Destination… section once again explores the landscapes and cultures of the African continent, turning its attention to Ethiopia, encouraging the public to explore the images, stories landscapes and traditions of a unique and fascinating country, and dealing with historic geopolitical phenomena too often ignored or undervalued. T4Future, the section dedicated to the younger generations, will also offer a wide range of activities: an extensive programme of screenings, workshops and events designed to promote visual education and raise awareness of issues linked to sustainable development, environmental protection and active citizenship education.

The programme for the 2023 edition was presented today in Milan, in the historic hall of Cineteca Arlecchino. The meeting was attended by the General President of CAI, Antonio Montani, the President and the Director of the Festival, Mauro Leveghi and Luana Bisesti, and the film programme coordinator Sergio Fant, while Elisabetta Bozzarelli, Councillor for Culture, was present as the representative of the Municipality of Trento, partner of the Festival.

«We like to think of Trento Film Festival as the wise man pointing at the moon, hoping that nobody will limit themselves to looking at the finger, but rather that our public will look towards the sky with courage and determination, searching for answers and new routes to follow» said the Festival’s President, Mauro Leveghi. «Lorenzo Mattotti’s poster would seem to suggest what man’s role should be in relation to nature: to be there, not disappearing, but adopting a slower, gentler and more profound approach, as the late Alex Langer hoped. We can find this vision in the recurring themes for this 2023 edition, highlighting the positive effort to seek not just the right path for mankind, but also how to move forward, one step at a time».

These are concepts also reiterated by the General President of CAI, Antonio Montani: «Each year, Trento Film Festival focuses on the most topical issues relating to the mountains, the natural environment and the populations living and working there. So there is no better opportunity to talk about Club Alpino Italiano’s intention to act as spokesperson for a new way of interacting with the mountains, in the light of the climate change crisis, the pressure of tourism and depopulation. Truly sustainable use of the peaks must on the one hand pay attention to the fragility of the environment, while on the other guaranteeing added value to those who live in mountainous zones all year round. Mountain environments traditionally transformed by human activities, such as those in our country, deteriorate if they are abandoned. Life in the mountains is thus fundamental for the sustainable future of these areas, while tourism, even when it is not mass tourism, must give something to the areas that it is intended to visit and explore».

The key players at the 71st edition

At this 2023 edition, Trento Film Festival will once again dedicate ten days to the screening of selected films, but also to meetings with authors, workshops for children and families, science cafés and the ever popular and eagerly awaited evening events. «After the exciting 70th edition, it was not easy to maintain the same level of programming, but this year we have again shown that the Trento Film Festival just can’t stop itself: despite its age, it is still a curious and restless infant» quipped the Festival’s Director Luana Bisesti. «We have succeeded in drawing up a very original programme of events, with unusual and exclusive formats, touching on subjects that are not always mainstream, but which present an important cross-section of the mountaineering world, such as the relationship between parenting and the risk of ventures at high altitude. This is the great strength of Trento Festival, something which has made it into an unmissable event for mountaineers, climbers and mountain enthusiasts from all over the world for decades. It does not just replicate familiar themes and formats, but rather involves the leading players and the public in discussion of new and often forward-thinking considerations».

The guests at the events will also include the climbers Alex Txikon, Chhepal Sherpa, Hervé Barmasse and David Göttler, who will talk to the journalist Fabrizio Goria about successes and renunciation in the Himalayas, taking a closer look at the choices and lifestyles of some of the key players in the most recent winter expeditions. There will also be room for reflection on mountaineering in the era of climate change with Climbing to Hell, an evening event and performance, presenting scientific background information, the testimony of climbers and writers, readings and live music, for a journey through the past and present of the Alps. The evening will feature the meteorologist Luca Mercalli, the French writer and climber Bernard Amy, mountaineers Rossano Libèra and Alberto Paleari, and the writer and activist Sara Segantin, along with the music of Martin Mayes, L’Orage and Trouveur Valdotèn. Mauro Corona returns to the Festival with his Arrampicare. Una storia di rocce, di sfide e d’amore (Solferino): with sincerity and irony, the writer, sculptor and mountaineer recounts anecdotes from a lifetime of climbing, vividly recreating his emotions. Marco Albino Ferrari will also return to the stage of the Teatro Sociale, with Assalto alle Alpi, with live storytelling taken from the new book of the same name published by Einaudi. One of the key themes of this edition is the complex relationship between climbing and parenting, which will be investigated thanks to the testimony of directors Eliza Kubarska and Max Lowe, and the climbers Antonella Giacomini, Palma Baldo and Thomas Huber: a reflection on the role of women – and men – in the world of the mountains and climbing, trying to give new meaning to adventure and heroism, opening up new forms of emancipation and equality, starting from language and the exchange of ideas. The writer Francesca Melandri – who is also a member of the Festival jury – will explain how much our failure to come to terms with colonialism has to do with our difficulty in grasping the imperialist and colonial nature of the war in Ukraine.

The company Agrupación Señor Serrano will present the theatrical performance “The Mountain”, based on a widespread image running through the history of ideas: climbing a mountain, overcoming all the difficulties to arrive at the top, and once there, being able to see the world “as it truly is”. But is it really like that? Sílvia Vidal has climbed many mountains, spending 33 days totally alone on the rockface from 7 February to 10 March 2020, on Cerro Chileno in Patagonia, only to find a changed world on her return to civilisation. She will talk about this adventure in Sincronia Mágica. Presented by climber Tamara Lunger and blogger Pietro Lacasella, with the special participation of the SOSAT choir, paying tribute to famous soundtracks by Ennio Morricone, Great teachers for great schools is instead the fascinating story of famous figures in climbing, intertwining with CAI – SAT mountaineering, ski mountaineering and climbing schools, to explore the past and imagine the future of mountaineering. The actress Violante Placido will also bring a new performance to Trento, with the theatre reading “More in the forests than in books”, accompanied by live music, curated by Raffaello Fusaro. With poetic grace and charisma, Violante Placido, fated to bear a name of ancient origin meaning “similar to the viola”, will take the public on a musical and literary journey dedicated to nature, forests, the clear mountain air, and ecology in terms of thinking rather than habits.

The events proposed by T4Future include Sgranate gli occhi with Alberto Emiletti, editor of Internazionale Kids, who will bring to Trento the best photography features published in Internazionale and Internazionale Kids from all over the world, projecting them onto the big screen, and presentation of the book Ragazze in capo al mondo (Editoriale Scienza) by Laura Ogna with illustrations by Giulia Sagramola; ten stories of female travellers and explorers who swam against the tide, challenging the conventions of their time, to learn about peoples, cultures and areas far from home.

There will also be a series of initiatives helping the public to explore the history, traditions and current situation in Ethiopia, the country featured in the Destination…. section. In a performance presented by singer/actress Saba Anglana, accompanied by the music and soundscapes of Fabio Barovero, the public will set out on a journey made up of stories, songs and musical evocation to explore the origins of Ethiopia, a land with a very ancient culture, preserved and protected by the morphology of the tablelands. For nature and wildlife enthusiasts, there will be an appointment dedicated to the gelada, the mountain baboon famous all over the world, with the primatologist Elisabetta Palagi, Associate Professor at the University of Pisa’s Department of Biology, in cooperation with the PAMS Foundation. Space will also be given to literature, with presentation of La vita a modo mio (Edizioni Settecolori), the fascinating biography of the last great British explorer, Wilfred Thesiger, a legendary figure due to his journeys to some of the most inaccessible places on Earth: Stefano Rossi will converse with Stenio Solinas, Editorial Director of Settecolori, at a meeting organised in cooperation with CCI – Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale. Last but not least, there will be a chance to experience the flavours, aromas and fragrance of Ethiopian cooking, with a programme of dinners – in cooperation with the Amici dell’Etiopia Association – allowing participants to taste traditional spiced dishes of meat and vegetables, served on a base of injera, the typical bread made with teff flour. The ritual of the coffee ceremony will also be recounted, paying homage to the origins of coffee, a key product for Ethiopia, which is one of the most important producers in the world. The programme of films and events in Destination… Ethiopia has received the support of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and been implemented with funding from the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto.

The full programme is available here