The XVII edition of the Gran Paradiso Film Festival has officially begun.
This afternoon, on Cogne's main square, more than 400 people including the authorities attended the opening ceremony.
The initial show was a performance merging poety, art, dance and theatre curated by Teatro Instabile di Aosta: the scenario of the Sant'Orso meadows and the Tribolazione Glacier provided an incomparable setting to a the lively exhibition.
In the course of the surprisingly colourful Flash Mob the Festival audience enjoyed bringing to life the moving image of the ibex, the Festival's symbol. The video of such unprecedented collective action will be screened during the award ceremony on Saturday 31 August.
The opening ceremony then moved to Maison de Cogne Gérard-Dayné, where Franco Allera, Mayor of Cogne, Italo Cerise, President of Fondation Gran Paradis, Aurelio Marguerettaz, Regional Minister of Tourism, sport, commerce and transport, Renzo Testolin, Regional Minister of Agriculture and Natural resources and Fabrizio Roscio, Regional counsillor, greeted the audience.
'The Festival has a strong appeal for nature cinema lovers, since it offers the opportunity to view quality films surrounded by nature scenery of outstanding beauty,' argues Minister Marguerettaz, adding: 'This year's theme is water, an element which our valley is rich in. It is indeed a treasure to preserve. Respecting our resources and enhancing our natural assets is the starting point to promote eco and sustainable tourism.'
The Festival launch ended with a colourful, tasty Green Happy Hour featuring the local delicacies.
The Artistic director of the Festival, Gabriele Caccialanza, explains:”Created in Cogne in 1984, the Festival sprung from Nature Project, which envisaged Cogne as the potential capital city of Italian naturalism as well as a worshop of ideas. Thus tourism would be integrated and enhanced by the respectful management of the natural heritage. Since 2011 the Gran Paradiso Film Festival entered a new phase in its long history. The collaboration between Nature Project and Fondation Grand Paradis allowed to streamline the organisational aspects, preserving unaltered those scientific and technical features which made the Festival internationally renowned.'
The screenings of the first two films competing for the International Competition - 'Jungle Book Bear' and 'The Return of the Hoopoe' - began at 9 p.m. The audience was formed by 687 seated guests and over 150 members of the Jury across six Festival venues.
For further information please consult the offical Festival website, www.gpff.it/en.