FULVIO MARIANI, MARIO CASELLA
Switzerland / 2008 / 95'
Ossetia, Abkhazia, Georgia and Russia are constantly in the news. The story of this film unfolds in this area of the Caucasus. A chamber orchestra with musicians from various Caucasian republics and its conductor share a common dream: to tour in this tormented region and demonstrate that peaceful coexistence is possible. In 1995 the German musician Uwe Berkemer set up the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra in Tiblisi, recruiting musicians from all corners of the Caucasus, the mountain region extending for 1,200 kilometres from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. A great number of ethnical groups, speaking over 40 different languages, live in this chaotic land. The musicians of this orchestra are Russians, Chechens, Georgians, Armenians, Azarians, Daghestans and from many more of the ethnic groups. They play together and face daily difficulties in giving their concerts in all the Republics of the Caucasus while proceeding with their project for peace. They share a great common dream: a final concert in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. The film is a travel diary that describes the orchestra’s rehearsals and concerts in the most remote places, going inside some of the musicians’ homes to tell about their lives and hopes for their homeland. A road movie showing the sorrow of these people, but also their hopes, in a music project echoing in the Caucasian mountains that have for years been the stage for ethnic wars and tensions.
Fulvio Mariani was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) in 1958. In 1981 he started to work as a cameraman for TSI – Swiss Italian Television. In 1985 he shot the documentary Cumbre which received many official awards. Thanks to this film, Mariani started his own business, Iceberg-Film, a production company mainly specialising in adventure documentary films. For many years he collaborated with leading figures in the climbing and mountaineering world, such as Reinhold Messner, Jerzy Kukuczka, Walter Bonatti, Hans Kammerlander, Riccardo Cassin, Mauro Corona, Stefan Glowacs and Piero Dal Pra'. In 1991 he was director of photography on the wall for the film Grido di pietra by Werner Herzog. He has collaborated with leading European Televisions channels such as ZDF, ORF, France 3, RAI and Mediaset, always shooting extreme adventure situations. In 1987 he published the book Drammi e Diaframmi. In 1994 he was director of photography for the Television series "Viva Africa and Overland" for Italian RAI. The following documentary films also received many awards: "L’uomo di legno", "La strada per Olmo Lungring and Siachen: a war for ice". He has participated in TrentoFilmfestival since the beginning of his career. He won the Silver Gentian prize with "Cumbre" (1987) and with "Cinquant’anni dopo" (1988) as well as the Golden Gentian CAI for the film "I Cavalieri delle vertigini "(2000). In 1990 he was a member of the International Jury in Trento.
Born in 1959, he lives in Roveredo, Switzerland. He is a mountain guide, journalist, writer and director. He was correspondent in Washington DC for Televisione Italiana Svizzera (TSI) (1997-2000), for which he still works in Lugano. He has been foreign affairs editor for the news programme and co-producer of the information magazine "Falò". He currently works mainly as a freelance documentary director. He has filmed and produced films and reports on the Berlin Wall, Croatia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and the USA, among others. He has participated at TrentoFilmfestival several times and won the solidarity prize with Grozny Dreaming (2009).