24° Environmental Film Festival

Dal 01 October al 06 October 2021

The growth of environmental filmmaking has slowed but not halted during the pandemic; it is gradually regaining normal speed. This year’s Festival is a “restart”. The over 3000 film submissions testify to a return to work, though less so by major production companies such as US filmmakers. The result is a highly variegated program by topic and country of origin.

The 2021 Festival returns to the movie theater (not completely vacated during last year’s Festival) in direct contact with Festival audiences and via the Internet. Streaming has proved a highly efficient technology to gain audiences sensitive to culture and green films, the Festival’s mission for nearly 25 years.

Environmental emergency is now on the international political agenda: reports by authoritative sources describe the partially reversible damage caused by global warming. Reason enough for the choice of this year’s Festival claim: Time for Change. It is neither an appeal nor an exhortation but rather the affirmation that time is running out. Time for Change means that it’s time to take action. The effects of climate change are undeniably evident and felt everywhere. Transition must take place now before it’s too late.

Environmental cinema has undergone transformation as well. Today’s films do not make prophetic claims (which turned out true) or depict a dystopic scenario for the future; they record observable evidence. Climate change is a central issue in public debate; it will play a center role in environmental film festivals and is already gaining space in generalist festival programs. While there is the risk of trivialization as films enter mainstream production, media attention is vital for films made with rigor, based on scientific data and verifiable facts. This is the kind of films that are the backbone of the Festival program, which features some novelty this year.

Competition sections are on the program (suspended last year due to the pandemic): two international, one documentary, and one short film section. Interest in environmental issues has gained traction among Italian filmmakers, who will have a special non-competitive section. The idea is to stimulate environmental filmmaking in Italy; to this end, the Environmental Cinema Today event provides an occasion for Italian and foreign filmmakers to exchange opinion. Another event of importance for Italian filmmakers is the panel discussion on reducing the environmental footprint of cultural events entitled A greener festival for an eco-protocol of cultural events and held in collaboration with AFIC.

The Movies Save the Planet prize awarded to a film director of international renown will be given to Yann Arthus-Bertrand  for his achievement in nearly 50 years of environmental filmmaking. His most recent film, Legacy, will close this year’s Festival.


Gaetano Capizzi

CinemAmbiente Festival Director

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26° Festival


05 June - 11 June 2023

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