In this peculiar year, the 22nd CinemAmbiente - Environmental Film Festival - feels the wave of youth protests around the world. Probably older than most of the Friday for Future (F4F) movement protesters, the Festival is able to grasp and receive their call to change the world. Hence, as highlighted by this year’s visual, the Festival welcomes the Green Generation.
The Festival space devoted to young people has grown: they are the main players in the CinemAmbiente Junior section. Over 200 films made during the 2018-2019 school year entered the national competition. A truly impressive response. Over 6000 students have already reserved their seats for events that couple film showings with debates and educational talks. The CinemAmbiente Junior program includes workshops and conferences that increasingly involve university students on environmental science courses who will present the films and lead some of the debates.
Running in the competitions are international film productions that reflect a well-established and thriving film genre: nearly 100 short, medium, and feature length titles offer a look at the situation and the current crisis that has become hard to ignore. Many films mark the event of the Anthropocene, the Earth's most recent geologic time period defined as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, and the start of the sixth mass extinction, which is leading to the disappearance of many living species. Some films focus on “system error, others on “breakpoint, and others still on the fifth element – human behavior that is changing the other four natural elements.
The section entitled Inventing Tomorrow includes films that take up from last year’s Festival the topic of possible solutions to environmental problems: technological transition, energy sources, and the cultural challenge launched by the new “Revolution Generation”. Films and debates will address the role of artificial intelligence, robots, geoengineering, and design in a society that is changing course.
Space will also be dedicated to movements opposing large-scale works with major environmental impact, eco-feminism, violation of human rights and of respect for the place where people live. According to Amnesty International, every year hundreds of people are killed or attacked during the fight to protect their local environment.
Invited guests include Richard O’Barry, who won an Oscar for his performance in the film The Cove, former trainer of Flipper the dolphin, now activist for the protection of cetaceans; the Swiss poet Fabio Pusterla, who will receive this year’s Le Ghiande di CinemAmbiente award; and the photographer, James Balog, a selection of whose photographs on climate change will be on view outside the Mole Antonelliana building.
We are sure that the Festival’s innovative program will provide visitors with a selection of films and events that are both educational and entertaining for families, young people, and grandparents concerned about the world they will leave their grandchildren. In brief, a Festival for all because the environment and its problems regard everyone and because attending the Festival is a step toward making a change for a better future.
CinemAmbiente Festival Director