A general overview

Celebrating the significant twentieth anniversary, highlighting the complexity of the present day. This is the intention of the 20th Religion Today Film Festival due to take place in Trentino from 13th and 22nd October, with previews and post-festival events extending into other regions inviting the public to reflect on the challenges of the past and the future.

The competition
Through the 41 films from 28 countries around the world, the cinema competition proposes a varied journey in terms of different religions, beliefs, cultures, visions of the world, but also in terms of styles, languages, expression, all presented in the theatre, in dialogue with the filmmakers and an interdisciplinary group of experts taking part thanks to the ever growing network of collaborations.

Alongside the competition there will be a calendar of round tables and meetings, with a fixed appointment in the early evening, in order to review from different viewpoints the great transformations which have taken place over the past twenty years and how they are reflected in the experience of Religion Today. Together with the voices of the founders of the Festival there will be those of important personalities from the first editions, starting with the Polish cinematographer Krzysztof Zanussi. The debate on the theme of the year will be enriched by such a versatile artist as David Riondino, capable of crossing cultures and generations; the representatives of different religious communities have also been asked to send reflections on the inevitable theme of violence and conflict, reworked in many films in competition, interwoven into the rich tapestry of the ongoing living experience of inter-religious dialogue.

Peace, rights, equality
Religion Today 2017 has consistently decided to reexamine the last twenty years under the profile of the importance of audiovisual language as a motor of thought and change. The consolidated collaboration with the Trentino Forum for peace and human rights, in particular, provides a starting point for an up-to-date evaluation of cinema, coming together and sharing. Also the debate on religions and gender roles has always been dear to the Festival, receiving new attention thanks to a collaboration with the Fondazione Bruno Kessler and Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale on the project “Dalla parte di Eva” (From Eve’s point of view).

A moving world
The relationship with Cinformi, the Information Centre for Immigration of the Autonomous Province of Trento, has proved to be fundamental, with its vast network of cultural and social organizations which organize the Week of Welcome just before the Festival. In the section of the competition specifically dedicated to stories of migration and diaspora, there will be a specific reinterpretation of twenty years of media representations of migratory phenomena, referring to the code of conduct elaborated by the Associazione Carta in Rome. In addition to these highly topical themes there will also be some moments of live entertainment, on the opening and closing ceremonies of the Festival, with the show “Questo è mio nome” (“This is my name”) by the Teatro dell’Orsa, which sees a group of asylum seekers on the stage, and the intense experience of “Stregoni” (“Shamans”), by Johnny Mox and Above the Tree, on the occasion of the award ceremony.

Twenty years in twenty films. On this special birthday, Religion Today will also present a selection of the great films on a religious theme that have marked the recent history of cinema, jointly selected by an international group of experts of different cinema backgrounds from Italy to the Middle East, Africa and America.

Guests and audiences
In hosting both the international jury and the SIGNIS jury as they make their selections, as well as an international conference with film festival directors, Trento again welcomes the living workshop experience. This puts professionals together, people who are able to report back to their countries the multitude of opinions that arise from the experience. The presence of dozens of guests from different nations is something to be exploited in the meetings with different audiences, who can share their emotions in a truly international event. Alongside the evening screenings there will be afternoon sessions aimed at a more mature public of adults and pensioners, while the mornings are dedicated to local schools with differentiated programmes for various age groups as the culmination of projects set up earlier in the year. The variety of cinematic styles represented also opens the way to the participation of new citizens and different communities involved through dialogue with those associations that represent them.

A wandering spirit
Remaining faithful to its itinerant past, the Festival will touch base in various places around the province, from Arco to Borgo and Pergine Valsugana; in addition to the Trentino appointments there will also be those with our partners in Merano and Rome, who year after year have guaranteed Religion Today an important break at both regional and national level, as well as international events with old and new partners from Jerusalem to Bangladesh.