The 21st CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival took place in the beautiful city of Turin, Italy. I was invited by Executive Director Gaetano Capizzi to participate on the One-hour International Features Jury and attended many pasta filled meals on PiF’s behalf from May 31st to June 6th, 2018. Cinemambiente is the founding member of the Green Film Network (GFN), a community of over 40 of the largest environmental film festivals around the globe. The networks works to coordinate  the events of associated festivals, promote and distribute films worldwide and encourage initiatives and projects that encourage careful thought on the planet’s environment.

Alessandra Cannito

Programs Director at Planet in Focus

The view from the train station upon arrival

Before the jury process began, the GFN members in attendance would gather for  was able to participate in various industry events, such as discussions on festival logistics and awards committees, and galas that provided the opportunity to connect with like-minded organizations and artists.


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Cinema Massimo, Turin

Opening Night began with cocktails across the street from Cinema Massimo, the festival’s home base. The former Italian Minister of the Environment, Land and Sea launched the evening with a speech on the importance of environmental film festivals around the world. 

Canadian production and Hot Docs 2018 selection, Anote’s Ark opened the festival with President Anote present for a post-screening Q&A.


ABOVE: Opening Night Gala

LEFT: With Irina (filmmaker, middle) and Eugenia (right) from ECOCUP Film Festival in Russia

The film juries met at the beautiful Cinemambiente offices to deliberate and draft distinction notes for the award gala on Closing Night. The One Hour International Feature jury consisted of myself, Samer Angelone, biologist and Artistic Director of Global Science Film Festival in Zurich and Sara D’Amario, famous Italian actress and activist.

Blah Blah Screening

Later each day, screenings were held at unconventional and historic venues around the city. Experimental shorts were screened at Blah Blah bar, an academic panel followed a screening at the National Egyptian Museum, and exhibits were held in the National Cinema Museum at the Mole Antonelliana. Note: Not pictured in this blog is obscene amount of fresh pasta I ate every. single. day.

Torino, I’m tortellini in love with you!

The pesto’s yet to come…

After lengthy discussion, we awarded Aktivisti by Petteri Saario, with an honourable mention to The Last Honey Hunter by Ben Knight for their brilliance in the difficult balancing act of important content and stunning presentation.

Celebrations took place on the most gorgeous terrace, with string lights and acoustic chittara (guitar) serenading festival guests late into the night.


From left: Executive Director Gaetano Capizzi, celebrates an incredible festival with GFN members and awards winners Mazdak Mirramezani, Irina Zhuravleva, Samer Angelone and Christian Frei

The view from the train station upon arrival

Cinemambiente was an incredible host, booking tours and meetings to see the most incredible parts of Turin. The festival was a fantastic opportunity for Planet in Focus to participate in the international community of environmental film festivals. 

It was an honour to have represented Canadian environmental film festivals at the meeting of the international Green Film Network, and a thrill to have met so many of our wonderful ‘sister festivals’ during my time in the Piedmont region.

After the festival, I took a day trip just outside of town. Here is a photo of the tenth century monastery I hiked to. A perfect ending to a beautiful week of environmental film in Italy, don’t you think?

Pasta la vista, until we meet again!


Sacra di San Michele

An enormous thank you to

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for making this experience possible

July 16, 2018

Carbe Diem: Seizing the day at Cinemambiente