Anniversaries offer opportunities to take stock. In the past 20 years, environmental issues have increasingly made headlines and impending threats have become a dramatic global reality. The growing Interest in sustainability has been paralleled by an increase in green-themed films. Alongside the many inquiry films are others depicting choices for a sustainable lifestyle in a society slowly transitioning toward new models. In its 20-year history, CinemAmbiente has been actively involved in this process, becoming a catalyst in the trend to document environmental change as a means to mould awareness of and attention to environmental issues in the public opinion, culture, and the arts. This year’s Festival program features documentaries narrating the success stories of initiatives like Transition Towns, Just Transition, Green Society, World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (Wwoof), and movements embracing community life, circular economy, sustainable mobility, social housing, and organic farming. The Festival retains its traditional structure of national and international film competitions with advance showings of several films for Italian audiences, the non-competitive Panorama section, the EcoKids section devoted to films for children, and the ever popular Ecotalks, Ecoevents, and Special Events. The Festival opens with Jared P. Scott’s documentary The Age of Consequences (2016), which investigates the impact of climate change on increased resource scarcity, human migration and conflict, and closes with Jean-Michel Bertrand’s The Valley of the Wolves (2016), which reveals the secret life of this fearsome predator that has returned to European forests. Over 100 films will be shown during the 6-day Festival, including short films that provide a focus for reflection and discussion following the screening. Two awards will be presented in recognition of placing the environment and nature at the center of their narratives: the CinemAmbiente Acorns prize to book author, Matteo Righetto, and the Movies Save the Planet prize to film director, Jean-Michel Bertrand. The films shown during the Festival are scheduled for post-festival screening in cities around the country, transforming this year’s event into a sort of extended festival. CinemAmbiente is part of a larger project entitled “Progetto CinemAmbiente” which comprises CinemAmbiente TV, the web TV service that provides free of charge a wide selection of green-themed films for use in the classroom, CinemAmbiente Tour, which promotes and distributes a selection of films presented at previous Festivals for nonprofit public showings, and the Green Film Network, an association that brings together nearly 40 environmental film festival organizers from around the world. As in past years, the Festival is made possible through the collaboration with local entities: the Regional Museum of Natural History, the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITC-ILO), the University of Turin, Legambiente, Museo A come Ambiente, Xké? il laboratorio della curiosità, Circolo dei Lettori, Centro Studi Regis, and InGenio. The Festival, an annual event administered by the National Museum of Cinema, received the extraordinary support of sponsors and the City of Turin.
CinemAmbiente Festival Director