“I am very glad that this year’s Cinemambiente Festival will deal with the crucial tie between the environment and human rights. We need to work together to create a culture where everyone is committed to promoting sustainable practices of environmental management and to promoting a civility of peace within one’s local community. I wish Cinemambiente 2006 a successful run and send my best regards to the City and the Festival organizers.”
This is the message we received from Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace prize winner, in response to this year’s key theme: the relationship between the environment and human rights. The right to respect for the environment is now considered one of our fundamental rights, an indispensable attribute of the human condition, the violation of which constitutes an offence to human dignity. This ties in with the collaboration with Amnesty International Italia: the Global Vision section will include a series of films on the theme of human rights and a round table with environmentalists who have been persecuted for their courageous efforts to defend natural resources. Now in its ninth year, Cinemambiente has made two decisive steps: the one is the agreement with the National Museum of Cinema, Turin, which has been charged with the financial and economic management of the festival. The general direction, artistic direction and organization remain with the Associazione Cinemambiente. As endorsed by institutional supporters, this represents an initial move toward the creation of a festival-system which will, on the one hand, ensure the autonomy and continuity of work done so far and, on the other, enhance the festival’s quality and visibility without increasing the cost. Another important step is that, in accordance with Kyoto Protocol recommendations, this year’s festival will be a zero emission event, making it Europe’s first film festival to calculate its CO2 emissions and to compensate them. The festival renews its long-standing cooperation with agencies and associations from the environmental and film sectors. In addition to synergies with the National Museum of Cinema, this year’s festival has enjoined the collaboration of the Cineteca Nazionale (National Film Archives) and the Archivio Nazionale di Cinema d’Impresa (National Industry Documentary Film Archives). Legambiente returns as an old friend, while Amnesty International is welcomed as a new one. That certain events not be forgotten, the environmental disasters of Seveso and Chernobyl (30 and 20 years ago, respectively) will be remembered in film screenings, debates and an exhibition of Mauro Galligani’s photographs that recount the events without solution of continuity. As in past festivals, excitement runs high at the film competitions: three competitions (international documentaries, Italian documentaries, animated films) in which 34 of the over 500 works reviewed by the selection committee will compete for awards. The animated film award is a new addition that reflects the sector’s acute attention to environmental issues. Six juries will award the official and non official festival prizes, the latter of which will be offered by the Legambiente, USIP, and the Provincial Student Council. Of particular interest is the retrospective curated by Sergio Toggetti entitled “Tempi moderni – Il cinema e l’industria in Italia” (Modern Times – cinema and industry in Italy). It represents an ideal follow-up to “La celluloide e l’accaio” (Celluloid and Steel), a film selection from the Fiat Archives presented in 2003. This year’s section includes films from other firms such as Olivetti, Pirelli, Edison and SNIA. This was made possible by the support of Telecom and the Unione Industriale di Torino. From a cinematographic perspective, the tension between modernization of society and industry’s view of itself is investigated. But on another level the films also underline the conviction that industrial development is closely related to environmental change and work, specifically, the way films presented work in post WWII Italy. Within this context are film screenings and a round table organized in collaboration with the CGIL-CISL-UIL labour unions on the topic of workplace safety, a problem concerning individual workers and entire populations. The price of India’s economic growth is the theme of Daniela Bezzi’s awardwinning reportage (Premio Baldoni) which will be screened along with a series of film about the Jharkhand case, a region that has been extensively exploited. Young audiences will again have their own section: Ecokids, a festival section that has been developed over the years into a school project featuring laboratories, film screenings, and environmental education programs with classroom and teaching material. Morning film screenings and meetings during the festival will conclude these initiatives. Thanks to the engagement of a highly motivated work group, the festival program has outgrown the theatres of the Cinema Massimo. The Panorama section will be held at two venues in the city and in towns in the Turin metropolitan area.