Open Projects

The Locals And Their Stories [Why Non]

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The local stories for the Why non project

This time we aren’t looking for commercials, tourist flattery, or postcards from dreamy places. We are looking for six filmmakers who are willing to discover a territory beyond its surface. Take a few minutes to read them, one story for each “local”. These are exceptional stories that speak of past experiences and future dreams; authentic stories of people who live in the valley.
Choose the story that most inspires you, discover the Brief, and explain how and why you would like to show them in a video.

The philosopher


L. works and lives in an alpine cottage (“malga” in italian) at 1800 meters above sea level,
on the Maddalene mountain range, with his family and his animals.
He chose to get involved in working for what he loves most: his territory and his mountains,
producing cheese and other food product in a natural and quality way.
Having the alarm rings at 4 o’clock may seem like a radical choice, until you see a sunrise
at the top of the mountains, surrounded only by animals and the sound of the wind.
He did all this without giving up his other great passion, philosophy.
In fact, L. is studying, preparing to become a personal coach; contrary to what one might
think, life in the mountains is not isolation and closure. Those who truly live in the mountains
have a free spirit, and are open to collaboration with each other.
In “malga”, L. can count on the help of some guys, coming from foreign countries, who
support him in every day work in the stable and with whom the opportunities for discussion
and dialogue are never lacking.
Integration is important, L. teaches them a job and the value of work and sacrifice, and in
return collects life stories from around the world, which enrich him and put him in touch with
different cultures and ways of thinking.
These are the values of our “malgaro” philosopher: commitment and dedication, an open
mind, the desire to grow, and, above all, help others to find their own path to happiness, just
as he did with his family.
*Shooting period: first half of July 2019.

The physician boatman


G. grew up in the plain, but ever since he was a child he loved Val di Non, where he spent
summers with his family.
He studied medicine and after a few years managed to move to the valley, becoming the
chair of Orthopedics at the local hospital.
Even when he worked in the hospital he always had a passion for wood, which he nurtured
with the knowledge acquired in the Alpine area, a place where wood is not lacking and that
has always been a resource for the construction of boats in the past.
Since he has retired, he is dedicating himself to the construction of carts and catamarans,
in his garage. For him, it is not only a question of reproducing classic models of boats, but
also giving space to the imagination.
Once completed, he transports the boats to the shores of Santa Giustina Lake and tests
their functionality, resistance, and exploration opportunities. The lake is an important place
for G., he has been canoeing it since the 80s, he was one of the pioneers.
The lake is an artificial basin (the largest in Trentino), embellished by the presence of
stupendous (but little known) canyons. It has never really been lived by the villagers, who
“feel” it as a dam. His way of enjoying the lake allows him to open it to the imagination of
many others.
G. is also part of the Santa Giustina Naval League, a group promoting a sustainable and
conscious use of the lake through meetings, explorations, sharing of boats and artistic
activities. This is his way of encouraging others to enjoy the lake.
*Shooting period: June 2019.

Extreme archaeologists


A. and L. are two brothers who grew up together in Val di Non. They have always been
passionate about computers and archeology, in a time when being a young nerd was not as
cool as it is now, and in a place where being young nerds was even worse.
After graduating in archeology they established Arc-Team, a small company that challenges
the multinational corporations operating through free, open source software and through
open hardware.
They are among the developers of the ArcheOS operating system, based on the Linus
platform and optimized for archaeological work, as well as the founders of ArcheoFOSS, a
festival that deals with these issues.
Since 2006 they have started a new branch of research, the archeorobotica: they develop
aerial drones and submarines for archaeological exploration. With these tools they did
research in Georgia and Iran.
Another of the branches that they deal with is the forensic archeology: starting from skeletal
remains or mummies, they obtain craniofacial reconstructions of the person after centuries
or millennia after their burial.
Their curiosity for the past and new challenges has also pushed them to specialize in
extreme operations of glacial archeology, high mountain archeology (on the Dolomite front
of the Great War), speleoarchaeology and underwater archeology (which allowed them to
identify submerged forests).
It’s kinda like Indiana Jones did not limit himself to the whip and jump from one jeep to the
other, but he also put on the diving suit, used crampons and, as if that were not enough,
started driving drones and developed computer programs and new languages that help us
to see the future, by interpreting the past.
*Shooting period: Autumn 2019

The artist innkeeper


A. was born and grew up in a town of 700 inhabitants at almost one thousand meters above
sea level in the Alps. Her parents are both farmers.
In the summer his family runs an alpine cottage (“malga”) where they bring cows to eat
mountain grass. Her mother, who is passionate about cooking, opened a small restaurant
in the malga and offers a few typical dishes, cooked with love.
A. helps her mother in the kitchen, she learned to prepare dishes for many guests, sets the
table and serves, and has run the cashier since adolescence.
At 14 she moved to Trento, the nearest city, to study advertising graphics, in an apartment
she shares with older students. Here she entered in contact with music and in particular the
local hardcore punk scene.
Then she moved to Venice where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts. Here she had the
opportunity to confront herself with the world of contemporary art and at the same time to
approach the graphics art, becoming a passionate and knowing artists from all over Italy.
Throughout the university period, while experimenting with other techniques, she deepened
the art of serigraphy, managing the Academy’s laboratory until her departure. Through this
technique A. resumes contacts with the world of music, printing t-shirts and cards for
different underground groups. She started spending time in the valley again by organizing a
festival of psychedelic music which can only be accessed by invitation in the woods close to
After 13 years spent far from Val di Non, A. decided to return. She rented a house in her
native village and used it as a residence. A. invites different artists with the desire to put
them in contact with local artisans and the landscape (from there you can see the Brenta
Dolomites). The intent is to create collaborations, innovations and new mountain narratives.
*Shooting period: August 2019.

The “tortel” pioneer


M. has always lived in Mione di Rumo, a small town of 300 inhabitants in a small valley
perched on the Maddalene chain
Once she carried on her small farm. Her days were marked by the rhythms of cows, hay
and the cultivation of potatoes. In the evening she gave her best in the small home kitchen
where she elaborated childhood recipes for the small group of people who occupied her
dining room.
One day there was the opportunity to host a group of students of geology in Padua who had
to spend a period exploring the morphology of the area. M. offered sparse accommodation
and prepared the dishes she has always prepared.
M. discovered that being an innkeeper was something she loves. The students were
enthusiastic about her cooking and her extroverted nature, M. was glad to feed them and
talk with them.
She decided to open the first farmhouse in the area: a few tables available in her “stube” (a
traditional stove), dishes prepared with local ingredients, good Teroldego (italian wine) and
talk at the end of the evening. We must consider that, while now places like this are very
popular, at that time they were an absolute novelty.
Soon, having dinner in the home of someone who cooked aroused curiosity even among
the VIPs who stayed in Madonna di Campiglio. Little by little, Agritur Mirella has become
increasingly popular, and M. has also ended up in a television program.
M. has a very big and amusing sample of anecdotes of these thirty years that she tells with
great pleasure after dinner. On a New Year’s Eve, she had to leave her guests to help a cow
to give birth, the guests interrupted their own dinner to help out.
Now that her son is a professor and struggling to help her as a waiter, sometimes M. is tired
of the frenetic pace of the kitchen. Then she looks at the calendar full of bookings for a lot
of time to come, thinking about people who can nurture and entertain and cannot be more
proud of it.
*Shooting period: February/March 2019

From marketing manager to bee-keeper


M. worked for years as a marketing and communication manager for a local company that
produced raw materials for construction. He deals with office hours, office space, long
internet searches, endless phone calls, meetings with professionals and events around Italy
to promote and consolidate the product.
At one point his company was in trouble and M. stayed at home for a while. In this period he
was passionate about his family activity, and agriculture. When it was time to get back to
work, M. decided to leave the office career and go back to basics.
In the meantime, M. was also passionate about bees. He appreciates the slow and relaxed
movements that the beekeeper puts in place to handle the parts of the hive. He enjoys the
condition of becoming part of a bee cloud that others consider dangerous, but in which he
stays serenely and satisfied.
M. loves bees not only for the honey that they produce and give to men for their health (as
well as for their taste), but above all for the organizational model that is the base of their
coexistence and their collaboration, in which each community element is aware and an
advocate of its role.
For M. the metaphor of the organization of the hive is also important for its other activity,
that of a trainer. The combination of environment and fruit growing is a highly debated topic
in a valley with an agricultural vocation such as the Val di Non. The sustainable management
of the interaction between the two elements (each in its own way essential) is the key to the
future of mountain valleys.
Today’s farmers and fruit growers no longer respond to the stereotypes through which we
often describe them. People like M. carry on a reflection on a territory necessary for the
*Shooting period: April 2019.

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