Looking at the world from other points of view and discovering limitless landscapes which unfold beyond the horizon. This is one of the most fascinating aspects of alpinism and the relationship between man and nature: that form of living and interpreting the mountains as a place where a glance can take you beyond the borders of what has already been seen before. It is this territory of the imaginary which transforms into real life from 22 April to 04 May at the Trento Film Festival 2008.
The 56th edition of the oldest mountain FilmFestival in the world is once again packed with things to do and see. As usual the film section is a key aspect of the festival and this is completed with an impressive list of events, conferences, exhibitions and moments to see and discuss mountaineering, adventures and nature. This can be followed online via the new WebTV, created by the TrentoFilmfestival in collaboration with PlanetMountain and the journalist Kay Rush who will follow the Festival step by step on www.trentofestival.it.
THE FILMS - Visions and the fantasy, cinema!
It must be said that this is great cinema, one that goes well beyond the mountains. 2008 easily exceeded 300 entries and this is a record in absolute terms, not just for Trento. This record number is joined by record quality: many of the 34 films selected for the competition are first-class. Such as "The Beckoning Silence" by Louise Osmond, based on the book by Joe Simpson. The Eiger and its "terrible" history is relived via one of mountaineering's most emblematic and epic tragedies: the 1936 attempt of the virgin North Face at the hands of Toni Kurz, Andreas Hinterstoisser, Rainer and Willi Angerer. This leap into the timeless essence of mountaineering is taken by Joe Simpson, one of the world's greatest experts. Those who appreciated Touching The Void will certainly not want to miss out on this latest offering. Au delà des Cimes by Remy Tezier is another film not to be missed. Starring Catherine Destivelle on four of the great Mont Blanc rock faces, the truly exceptional photography (taken from a Zeppelin!) transmits all the magic and joy of these "grandes courses" interpreted by the woman who in 1985 became a true icon of the new form of climbing with her film 'E' pericoloso sporgersi'. In Blindsight on the other hand, Lucy Walker recounts the adventure of Erich Weinhmayer, a blind mountaineer who accompanied 6 blind Nepalese children into the mountains. This experience made headline news in Italy and may be re-lived in Italy in Trento. For those who love skiing, there's another great European first with Mark Obernhaus' Steep, ski extreme as interpreted by its protagonists, including Stefano de Benedetti. Climbing (in the form of British trad, read hard, pure and dangerous) is represented by Committed, produced by Paul Diffley and Dave Brown, but also by King Lines produced by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer starring the "incredible" Chris Sharma. Changing themes to documentaries, the place of honour is held by The Edge of Eden: Living with Grizzlies - the bear on the 56th manifesto is there for good reason. The story of the special relationship between Canadian naturalist Charlie Russel and bears marks another important moment in the strange and fascinating empathy between man, animals and nature which the Festival has always considered.
This closeness and sensitivity has also always been shown towards the highest located populations. Once again Tibet is on the agenda, though not because of the current tragic circumstances, but because of a constant interest, as documented by Khashyar Darvich's Dalai Lama Renaissance. Dedicated to the life of the Tibetan spiritual leader the film is narrated by Harrison Ford, while Daughters of Wisdom by Bari Pearlman shows life within a Tibetan monastery. Fiction is surprisingly represented by La jeune fille et les loups by Gilles Legrand with “stars” such as Stefano Accorsi and Laetitia Casta who interpret the story of a hermit who meets a beautiful vet in love with wolves. Apart from the actual competition, the selection includes numerous other interesting films, from those in the Alp&Ism category to those in Horizons and Vitalpina dedicated to life in the world's highest regions. Events are top of the agenda, too, with unmissable films such as Encounters at the end of the world by Werner Herzog or La Muraglia cinese by Carlo Lizzani.
MOUNTAINEERING EVENINGS- solo climbers, Russian climbers and the great Pierre Mazeaud
2008 heralds three classic mountaineering evenings and these begin on Sunday 27 April with Solo Mountaineering. What is possibly the most profound and idealised form of climbing will be presented by Pietro Dal Prà, the climber and mountaineer who, from a sports climbing background, experimented "soloing" on great routes in the Dolomites such as the Scotoni and the South Face of the Marmolada. He will introduce Silvia Vidal, the Catalan climber who spent 21 days non-stop on the Shipton Spire and demonstrated once again that mountaineering and feminility can go hand in hand. The two will be joined on stage by 24 year old Hansjörg Auer from Austria, the climber who shot to fame with his first free solo of the route Attraverso il Pesce on the south face of the Marmolada which literally shook the mountaineering world at its roots. Third up on stage will be Italian Rossano Libera, the mountaineer who probably more than anyone else represents the profound choice of solo climbs, with his ascents of Monte Badile and the peaks in Val Bondasca.
Russian mountaineering is the focus of the second evening on Thursday 1 May. Despite the incredible levels reached, this form of mountaineering is in many ways completely unknown to the west. Simone Moro, the mountaineer who more than most has climbed with the Russians, will introduce the evening, starting with Pavel Sahabalin (live from K2 West Face), Alex Klenov and Michail Devy (first ascent of Shingu Charpa East), Denis Savelyev and Serguey Nilov (new route up Shipton Spire), Alexander Odintsov, leader of the most important recent Russian expeditions (such as Jannu North Face) and the true legend Boris Korshunov.
The final evening is scheduled for Friday 2 May; presented by Pietro Crivellaro, the evening will concentrated on Frenchman Pierre Mazeaud whose name is intrinsically linked to the legendary mountaineering of the 1950's and '60's. Together with Walter Bonatti he was part of the ill-fated and famous 1961 attempt of the Freney Central Pillar, while in 1978 he led the French expedition to Everest which resulted in his successful ascent. In doing so he became the first Frenchman to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world. This year's guest of honour represents the history and the spirit of alpinism which left the deepest of marks on 2 generations. You can bet that this same spirit will be relived on stage on Friday in the Auditorium Santa Chiara.
MUSIC - the Festival is Rock
This year the Festival opens to the soundwaves of music. Of great music... naturally rock. It all kicks off Tuesday 22 April with the indie rock of Reading in concerto per viandanti del XXI secolo by Enrico Brizzi and Numero 6. This theme continues on Friday 25 April with “Imparando a vivere” by Fabio Palma, I Miradavaga and Simone Pedeferri in a performance which combines literature, music and paintings with the artist climber Pedeferri who will paint one of his works of art live (not to be missed!). Saturday 26th heralds the start of the film programme and this will be celebrated with a concert by Marlene Kuntz who will perform live to “La signorina Else”, the 1924 Paul Czinner masterpiece. Wednesday 30 April on the other hand will celebrate Montagne Migranti, an exceptional work by Carlo Casillo with i Miscele d'aria which is a journey around the world and into the past of mountain songs. Carried out with the Sosat choir, this is absolutely exceptional! Another event which should not be missed on any circumstances in the conference by Lino Patruno (member of I Gufi, famous jazz player and cinema enthusiast) during the final Festival evening, 3 May.
As no doubt you will have realised, the programme is mind-boggling and it's easy to get lost in all of these events. We'll obviously keep you up to date with film previews, interviews and some surprises on www.trentofestival.it…