From 26 April to 6 May, visitors to the 66th Trento Film Festival were greeted in Piazza Fiera by the photographic exhibition dedicated to the “Extraordinary Beauty” of the Dolomites, nine backlit blow-ups of pictures taken by six photographers who are supporters of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation. It was more than just an exhibition. Naturally visitors’ attention was quite rightly grabbed by the towering Tofane, Sciliar, Vette Feltrine, the Friuli Dolomites, Pelmo, Odle, but those capable of seeing beyond the magnificent shots taken by Alessandro Caon, Moreno Geremetta, Nicolò Miana, Patrick Odorizzi, Andreas Tamanini and Georg Tappeiner were able to grasp the deeper meaning of the exhibition: sharing.
WHEN “WE” WINS OVER “I”
The journey leading to listing of the Dolomites as a UNESCO World Heritage Site began and still continues under the banner of “we”. “We” in the sense of the peoples living in the Dolomite valleys, so diverse in terms of their history, traditions and above all forms of government. A joint effort is needed to cross these boundaries, without making light of the difficulties, the distances and other problems. Then, on one sunny April morning, just like on a hundred other occasions we have experienced in nearly ten years of our collective journey, we discovered the added value provided by those people who have chosen to play their part, to believe in this project and to say: “We are the UNESCO Dolomites”.
This is what the Foundation’s supporters do every day, and it is not by chance, for example, that a photographer from the Trento area like Andreas Tamanini presented a shot of the Tofane peaks, in the Belluno Dolomites, or that a photographer from Belluno, Agordo area to be precise, like Moreno Geremetta presented a shot of Mount Sciliar and one of the Friuli Dolomites.
“THE GREATEST CHALLENGE”
The Vice President of the Foundation Mauro Gilmozzi took this opportunity to express his satisfaction with the partnership with the Trento Film Festival when he remarked that: “The greatest challenge for us was to be able to give practical expression to the message of which we are the bearers. This, as represented by the Foundation, is the first case of five provinces and two regions sharing common rules”.
Director of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation Marcella Morandini also expressed her thanks to the photographers who, she said “are the soul of this exhibition, playing their part on this occasion and on many others because they believe in UNESCO recognition”.
“We could not fail to enter into a partnership with the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation” commented the Chairman of the Trento Film Festival Mauro Leveghi, “the festival is international in nature but the Dolomites are its home, where it has grown up and the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation is not only committed to looking after the natural heritage but also the human heritage”.
THE SPECIAL “UNESCO DOLOMITES” PRIZE
The international dimension and also roots are values well represented by the choice made by the jury that, as part of the Film Festival, also this year awarded the special prize set up by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and SAT association. This is not a prize awarded, as people might be led to believe, to those merely telling the story of and documenting the Dolomites, but to those capable of interpreting the founding principles of UNESCO recognition, in particular, awareness of communities and active conservation of the land.
This therefore is a prize that looks to the future and the challenges that those in the Dolomites have chosen to face up together and that have all sorts of shades of meaning in other parts of the world.
This year the prize went to “Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq”, the film directed by Yatri N. Niehaus (Germany, 2017). The jury, made up of Chairman Claudio Bassetti, with Marcella Morandini, Annibale Salsa and Riccardo Decarli, gave the following reasons for the award.
“Spectacular photography plunges the audience into the world of the glaciers of Greenland, the largest island on the planet. In the year 1000 in the days of Erik the Red, this “Green Land” had a mantle of ice much smaller than today’s, and hence the name. A part of Denmark since the beginning of the 19th Century, today Greenland enjoys a considerable amount of autonomy allowing a form of self-government. Inhabited by the Kalaalit people, Kalaallit Nunaat being the name of this territory in the language spoken in Greenland, in recent years Greenland has undergone some profound changes with the development of the tourist industry, exploitation of underground prime resources and the increase in fishing. This rapid transformation risks annihilating the ancient culture of the local people. It is not only the human story that has been laid down in this magical land, but also that of planet Earth, preserved in the glaciers that bear witness to the different eras. However the glaciers too have to come to terms with such dramatic events as climate change. The people and the land are faced with an epoch-making challenge and only respect and awareness can guarantee the future. The film succeeds in bring all these issues to the fore, while still conveying a yearning sense of beauty”.