Film about the activist against droughts in Malawi wins the “From the Earth to the Earth” award
Film presented at the CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival in Turin wins the “From the Earth to the Earth” award for the work that best illustrates problems associated with the earth and solutions for health, food safety and biodiversity. The film describes the tenacity of Anita Chitawa, who flies to California from her small drought-hit village in Malawi to convince Americans of the reality of climate change and the need for joint actionFilm presented at the CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival in Turin wins the “From the Earth to the Earth” award for the work that best illustrates problems associated with the earth and solutions for health, food safety and biodiversity. The film describes the tenacity of Anita Chitaya, who flies to California from her small drought-hit village in Malawi to convince Americans of the reality of climate change and the need for joint action
Turin – Milan, 7 October 2021 - Anita Chitaya has two great gifts: a talent for persuasion and remarkable tenacity. These two gifts were essential when she had to address the problems affecting her small village in Malawi, struck by a worsening drought. She decided to make the journey to the United States in an attempt to convince Americans that climate change is real and threatens the whole planet. There she met climate change deniers and ecosceptics but also farmers in despair because their work is facing pressure from global warming and extreme weather events that are exacerbating those contrasts that have shaped American history and society. From the rural-urban divide, to that between rich and poor, to racial discrimination and gender inequality, the most urgent issues of our time are woven into Anita’s experience as she grapples with the greatest challenge of her life.
Her story is told in the film The Ants & the Grasshopper by Raj Patel and Zak Piper (Malawi 2021, 74’). A touching and extremely effective film that was awarded the “From the Earth to the Earth” prize promoted by the Biorepack Consortium at the 24th edition of the CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival in Turin, which ended yesterday. The filmmakers will receive a prize of €3,000.
“We decided to establish this award to support films that best tell the story of the Earth, documenting the degradation of the soil, strategies for rebirth and the close connection with the protection of human health, food safety and biodiversity,” said Marco Versari, president of Biorepack (the Italian national consortium for the organic recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging). “The Ants & the Grasshopper has undoubtedly hit the mark. It’s the perfect example of the essential role that cinema can play in raising awareness about the close ties between virtuous behaviour by individuals and society, soil health and the fight against climate change.”
The winning productions and the more than 80 other films in this year’s festival can be watched free of charge (by booking on www.cinemambiente.it) on the OpenDDB platform, where the festival continues online until 13 October. The trailer is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=126&v=WAXi0b826sY&feature=emb_logo
Raj Patel, educated at various universities in Great Britain and the United States, is a writer and activist focusing on food sustainability. In 2007 he published Stuffed and Starved. He is currently a Research Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas.
Zak Piper is an Emmy and PGA award-winning director and producer. His films include the documentaries At the Death House Door (2008) shortlisted for an Academy Award, The Interrupters (2011) and Life Itself (2014) which received an award at the Sundance Film Festival.
The CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival was launched in 1998 in Turin as an opportunity to present the best environmental films and documentaries at an international level and contribute to the promotion of cinema and environmental culture through a range of activities throughout the year. The Festival is part of the Green Film Network, an association that brings together the leading environmental film festivals from around the world. The Festival has steadily grown over the years, establishing itself as one of the most important environmental film events on the international scene.
Biorepack – the Italian national consortium for the organic recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging – is the first supply chain consortium within the CONAI system dedicated to guaranteeing the separate collection and organic recycling of compostable bioplastic packaging together with organic waste which, accounting for 40% of all separate waste collection, is now the most important stream among the recycling systems. In fact, recovering organic waste through composting, rather than sending it to landfill or incineration, makes it possible to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions – responsible for the greenhouse effect and rising temperatures – and return carbon to the soil, of strategic importance for ecological balance and to combat phenomena such as soil fertility loss and desertification.
Martina Valentini | Journalist & PR
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