Trento Film Festival and the ITAS Mountain Book Award
The Mountains and mountain cultures showcased in Trento, in the heart of the Dolomites
The mountains have always been one of the most highly symbolic places for men and women in all parts of the world. The residence of the gods or space for freedom, a stairway to eternity or a refuge for escaping the world... popular imagination has endowed the “high lands” with the most diverse and profound meanings. It is not by chance therefore that it has been the focus of every form of art : including cinema and literature, obviously, finding in Trentino an ideal place for self-expression and dialogue with the public.
1952: the first mountain film festival in the world
In 1952 the 1st International Competition of Alpine Cinematography was held in Trento: it was the first international mountain film festival, and it is no coincidence that it took place in Trento, in the heart of the Alps and the Dolomites, which were at the time at the centre of the world mountaineering scene. 39 films from seven countries took part in that first pioneering edition and the first prize went to the French film, “Cimes et Merveilles” (Peaks and Wonders).
In 1955 the Competition officially became a Festival with the addition of the exploration category to the mountain scene, and in 1989 it was further extended, when it was renamed the International Mountains Exploration and Adventure Film Festival. In 2005 this event, which has now become unmissable, was renamed the Trento Film Festival, and in 2018 it was enriched with a concise but significant payoff, by condensing the Trentino Film Festival advertising “manifesto” into two words: Mountains and Culture.
In almost seventy years since it has been in existence all of the main protagonists of the world mountaineering scene have attended, from Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary to Simone Moro and Dennis Urubko, and from Walter Bonatti and Cesare Maestri to Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell, on to the great climbing champions Adam Ondra and Laura Rogora.
The ITAS Award; since 1971 a mountain of words
And again in Trento, in 1971 the ITAS Mountain Book Award was created, thanks to the intuition and leadership of the Trentino based insurance company, to spread the culture and the magic of the mountains. The Award is dedicated to mountain literature, its values, the environment and mountain communities.
Among its winners there are Reinhold Messner, Joseph Zoderer, Jon Krakauer, John Berger, Erri De Luca, and Paolo Cognetti. From 1982 to 2008, the great Mario Rigoni Stern was chairman: now the chairman of the jury is Enrico Brizzi, the writer.
Over the years, the works that won the Award have written the history of mountain books and anticipated the direction of research. During these fifty years more than 3,000 books took part in the selection process.
A rock solid collaboration
The two events, which over the years have become an unmissable event for all cinema, literature and mountaineering enthusiasts, have cooperated to involve an increasingly numerous and attentive audience, making Trento the true International capital of mountain cultures.
Each year the awards ceremony of the Trento Film Festival and the ITAS Mountain Book Award take place on the same stage, a testimony of the relationship that has lasted for half a century growing stronger over time, just like a good friendship.