Mountainfilm Graz: Another Kind of Adventure

22 Nov Mountainfilm Graz: Another Kind of Adventure

It has been quite a while since I made a whole conventional film, which would include not only the inescapable time-lapse shots but also a story, a narrated experience or perception exploring the content. Two years ago, when I decided to embark on a tour across the majestic mountains of Europe, I did not know exactly where will I go, what will I shoot or what will I come across, but I knew one thing: I wanted the final result to be more than a sequence of beautiful landscape shots.


My latest film, Orogonia, reflects on my deepest personal thoughts during the big journey, where on many occasions I found myself alone and lost for words in the wild, bewildering nature. The result is a bit unusual: it does not fit the textbook standards of a documentary, as it explores and explains an inner world instead of an outer one. 



Orogonia was conceived with the idea to tell a story, and to tell it at film festivals. I have presented it specifically at mountain-related events: Finisterra Arrábida Film Festival, Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Nuovi Mondi Festival, International Festival of Outdoor Films, Leggimontagna and Mountainfilm Graz. The latter I have had the honor to attend in person, and present the film to the audience right before the screening. This wonderful experience reminded me of many semi-forgotten features of my profession that I adore. 



Usually, when I finish a film, I upload it straight to the Internet. Receiving acclaim online has its advantages: you reach many more people who love what you do, and I won’t lie, you feel pretty badass when something you made goes viral. But it’s a whole new level of experience when you get to see your work on the big screen, and to sit in the audience and observe the viewers’ reactions. I encourage any and every filmmaker to give festivals a shot, because of the sheer unfamiliarity of the experience – it’s cool to have a million views on YouTube or Vimeo, but it is nowhere close to replacing the festival adventure, where you get to immerse in your work all over again, surrounded by a small but moved crowd.

The festival itself was a terrific rallying point for like-minded people: I have met many interesting filmmakers, climbers, alpinists, adventure sports enthusiasts and countless other kinds of inspiring humans. Apart from the direct benefit – making contacts – these occasions serve another, additional purpose for me. It is always good to be around people eager, motivated, passionate about anything at all, but it’s even better when a person’s fixations overlap with yours. It makes you see your dreams and fantasies from another, wider perspective when faced with others who have dreamt the same or even accomplished it. It motivates you to dream bigger and push harder, and just dare to do whatever the heck you want.


I owe a big thanks to the Mountainfilm Graz crew for lending their platform to my work, as well as for their outstanding hospitality. I will certainly be back in the years to come. 


Orogonia will be published on December 3rd. In the meantime, take a look at the trailer.