TFF: UNESCO Dolomites Special Award for “La Regina di Casetta”

A very exciting edition of the Trento Film Festival concluded with the presentation of the Special Award to the film “La Regina di Casetta” by Francesco Fei. The prize was instituted by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, in collaboration with SAT. The collaboration between the Trento Film Festival and the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation has proved very successful during this 10th anniversary year. And plans are already ahead for the next edition.

The mountaineers and their choices

The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Tridentine Alpinists Society (SAT) did not create this Special Award to increase public awareness of the Dolomites. Instead, it was to support those who are raising matters that have a direct link to the UNESCO recognition: the active conservation of marginal areas, and the culture and life of the people who live there and who face difficult choices on a daily basis.

Francesco Fei drew attention to this last aspect in his simple tale, and even though the action takes place in Casetta di Tiara, a small village at the foot of Mount Bastia in the Apennines, many of the inhabitants of the Dolomites will recognise themselves in this film. It is the story of Gregoria, a girl who grows up in what she herself calls a “magical place”, but when she reaches high school age, she is faced with the possibility of having to leave it.

The jury consisted of Marcella Morandini and Annibale Salsa for the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and Mariacarla Failo and Riccardo De Carli for SAT. They gave the following reasons for their choice: “Gregoria is emblematic of those mountain communities that certainly live under harsh conditions but are also the guardians and watchmen of these fragile areas.”

The Iranian director Yaser Talebi received a special mention for his film “Beloved-Delband”, which showed the life of agro-pastoralists, and drew attention to: “the value of unity among mountain cultures in different countries, the universal dimension of the mountains and the character of the local area.” In 2017, the award went to “Koneline, Our Land Beautiful” by Nettie Wild, and in 2018 to “Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq” by Yatri Niehaus.

Reflecting on fragility: a focused objective

For this tenth anniversary year of World Heritage status, the Trento Film Festival and UNESCO Dolomites Foundation increased the number of events that they organised together, all focusing on the theme of fragility. The theme was examined from an ethical and philosophical standpoint by Vito Mancuso, in an evening that also included students from the Tesero Carpentry School. Their video showed a strong determination to rebuild the area after Storm Vaia, using the disaster as an opportunity to promote the great value of wood. But how aware are we of the fragility of the environment, including that of the Dolomites? This question was posed by the artist Marco Nones, who challenged us to reflect on our indifference to climate change with his “ice brains”, melting in the sunshine in Piazza Duomo. An entire section at the Trento Film Festival, “Fragile Friends”, was dedicated to the theme of fragility, with five films showing forests from around the world. Although we have now finished arranging this event and are already planning the next edition, you still have until September 1st to see Alessandro Gruzza’s photo exhibition, “The Voice of the Dolomites”, at the Palazzo delle Albere.

Ph. Piero Cavagna | Trento Film Festival