'The return of the hoopoe' (“Die Rückkehr des Wiedehopfs”, Austria 2012) by directors Florian Berger and Stefan Polasek triumphed at this year's Festival, winning the XVII Stambecco d'Oro Trophy - Premio Conseil Régional de la Vallée d’Aoste, worth 5.000 €, assigned by the Jury of the audience, as well as the Stambecco d'Oro Trophy Junior, assigned by the Children's Jury.
The Jury of the audience, formed by 180 members, expressed their preference and drew the final placement. The winner preceded 'My life as a turkey' by David Allen and 'A thousand and one traces' by Erik and Anne Lapied.
The award for best short film of the CortoNatura section went to 'Feral' by Daniel Sousa (U.S.A. 2012).
The Technical Jury, presided by the renowned ethologist Danilo Mainardi, assigned the following awards:
- Gran Paradiso National Park Award (worth 1.500 €): 'More than honey' by Markus Imhoof (Switzerland, 2012). Motivation: A journey in flight, using a macro lens, through which we see the bees, those precious insects which allow an infinite number of creatures to reproduce, dance and buzz in the foreground. More than a third of our food resources depends on bee pollination. Bees, tiny animals whose strenght originates from their rigid social structure, are now in peril. This fine documentary, highly pedagogical for the scientific accuracy of the script and the high impact images, explains us why.
- Marisa Caccialanza Award (worth 1.500 €): 'Life size memories' by Frederique Lengaigne and Klaus Reisinger (Austria, 2012). Motivation: This film can be unsparing, harsh and violent, but all the more capable to awaken sentiments of love and compassion towards nature. Though the latter is strong and free, it nonetheless runs the risk of becoming nothing but a series of 'life size memories'. The consoling gesture of the mother towards the tortured sun is extraordinarily moving.
- WWF Italia Award: “Wüstenschiffe-Von Kamelen und Menschen” (Ships of the desert) by Georg Misch (Germany, 2012). Motivation: Excepting the few and mysterious specimen scattared in the immensity of the Mongolian deserts, the camel is mainly a domestic animal. That is why any discourse on camels necessarily implies the human factor. The rich and well crafted document by Georg Misch has a decidedly ethnographic connotation, showing us the many cultures connected to this powerful and elegant beast. The film even displays a certain irony, when it narrates the almost fanatical love demonstrated by the supporters during camel races across the desert dunes of Arabia.
- Lipu-Mario Pastore Award: 'My life as a turkey' by David Allen (UK, 2011). Motivation: The film shows us the behaviour of a scarcely known species, the wild turkey. With a captivating narrative construction, Joe Hutto's extraordinary experience with thirteen wild turkeys unfolds, from the hatching to the final parting, after one year spent side by side. The protagonist follows in the footsteps of Konrad Lorenz, giving us an undisputable, terse demonstration of the legitimacy of the theory of imprinting.
More than 9500 attendances were registered at the Festival events, distributed among the screenings at the five venues and the 'De Rerum Natura' program.
“The XVII edition of the Gran Paradiso Film Festival gave us reason to be twice satisfied: quality and quantity went together – argues Luisa Vuillermoz, the Festival's Artistic Director - this year's figures prove the Festival's remarkable success. It is the result of a worthy official selection and a series of original and high profile encounters and debates. The enthusiasm of the Festival audience is the tangible demonstration that the alliance between nature and culture is a winning bet for the Gran Paradiso area.'
The XVII edition of the Gran Paradiso Film Festival was organized by Fondation Grand Paradis with the support of the Regional Ministry of Tourism, sport, commerce and transport of the Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley, the Presidency of the Regional Council of Aosta Valley, the Directorate General for Cinema - Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Gran Paradiso National Park, Federparchi, the Council of Cogne, and with the participation of the Councils of Rhêmes-Saint-Georges, Valsavarenche, Villeneuve and Ceresole Reale.
'The return of the hoopoe' trailer