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The 25th Religion Today Film Festival took place from September 14-21 in Trento, Italy. After reviewing the 40 films that got selected from the 1.670 submissions, the SIGNIS Jury awarded its prize to “The Dream of a Horse” directed by Marjan Khosravi (Iran, 2022).
For the Jury, the Iranian short documentary gives the 15-year-old girl Shahnaz a voice she does not have in her small mountain community. While she should get married and as the oldest child has to take care of all the other children, household and animals, she is drawn to literature and writes her own stories secretly – with a help of a teacher who sees and empowers her. The film allows a deeper understanding of the challenges to human rights for women and children in many other places of the world, but also provides a role model for how stories can be heard and resonate.
The Jury has also awarded a Commendation to the film “Sacro Moderno – The Children of the Sleeping Giant”, directed by Lorenzo Pallotta (Italy, 2021), as it “offers a close look at the drama of an Italian village affected by consequences of the demographic crisis, where young Simone probably belongs to the last generation of inhabitants. In a parallel montage, we observe the efforts of the small community to safeguard traditional, popular, and religious rituals, and Filippo, a mysterious character, who in an isolated dwelling tries to live according to the rhythm of the nature and the gospel. The film, rich in biblical symbols (lamb, fire, bread, and wine...), is a universal reflection on the world that seems to be losing its roots, but offers also hope”.
Born in 1997 as the first Italian festival of spiritual cinema and inter-religious dialogue, Religion Today Film Festival is celebrating “25 years of dialogue”. The festival proposes a "journey through differences": of cults, beliefs, and worldviews, but also of styles and languages, for a mutual enrichment in comparison and mutual knowledge.
The members of the SIGNIS Jury, were Ingrid Stapf (Germany), Ana María Pedroso Guerrero (Italy/Cuba), and Marek Lis (Poland).