The Dolomites: our “fragile friends” at the Trento Film Festival

Storm Vaia highlighted the real fragility of the Dolomite region. All our present and future choices must be based on an awareness of this fact. We’ll be talking about this at the Trento Film Festival from April 27th to May 5th.

Ten years old: the right age

The tenth anniversary of the Dolomites becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a proper time to stop, reflect, and then start again. Our collaboration with Italy’s most important festival of film and mountain culture has given this issue extra prominence. All the initiatives put forward by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation during the event will be focusing on the theme of “fragility”.

So, what do we mean by “fragile”?

The Dolomites are “fragile” in terms of what is taken away. Time has sculpted these mountains and continues to do so. Human presence in the Dolomites is also fragile: we can only remain there if we care for this environment in the proper way. Life in the valleys depends on the state of the paths through these mountain ridges, made even more precipitous by climate change. And this life must be constantly reassessed. Helping us to do just this, on April 28th at 9:00 p.m., will be the philosopher Vito Mancuso, author of “La Via della Bellezza” (The Way of Beauty), published by Garzanti. “…Searching for and preserving beauty is the best way to fulfil the task allotted us in life.”  What does it mean to have charge of a common asset? It certainly does not mean we “own” it in a material sense, although in a spiritual sense, we do. We need to make it part of us, and constantly reinterpret it, aware of its beauty and of its fragility. Students from the Tesero carpentry school (TN) will be joining the debate, and screening their video “Vaia, the Change is Here”.

The day before that, the artist Marco Nones will open the festival by staging a new performance, entitled “Indifference”. This can be seen from 11.30 a.m. onward in Piazza Duomo, Trento, where he will be busy sculpting brains in ice, destined to melt in just a few hours. Clearly, this refers to the state of fragility brought about by climate change.

What to see

With help from the artistic director of the Trento Film Festival, the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation has also chosen a series of documentaries which focus on the relationship between people and trees. The emotional impact of those images from October 29th, which still can be seen on the media, has led us to think deeply about the ancient ties between man and the forest. This is the theme of the programme entitled “Fragile Friends”: five films, released between the end of summer 2018 and the start of 2019, which deal with the subject from various perspectives, shedding new light on a relationship that is more than simply contemplative or exploitative.

The Festival will also include an exhibition of photographs by Alessandro Gruzza, entitled “The Voice of the Dolomites”. On display at the Palazzo delle Albere, the show will feature images of the great peaks and the amazing Dolomite landscape.

The Special Prize

Finally, for the third consecutive year, the Trento Film Festival and UNESCO Dolomites Foundation are also jointly offering a special prize. This will be awarded to the artistic work that best manages to capture and convey the very values that led to the Dolomites becoming a World Heritage Site.