The annual Movies Save the Planet award at CinemAmbiente is given to a filmmaker in recognition ofwhose work reflects on the environment and nature. This year’s award goes to Franco Piavoli, independent filmmaker and poet of images. His film Voci nel tempo is shown in Panorama.
Since birth in 1933 in Pozzolengo, Franco Piavoli has been closely attached to his homeland in the province of Brescia and its traditions. After earning a degree in law from the university of Pavia, he taught law and devoted himself to painting and photography. During the 1960s he began making experimental films; his shorts Le stagioni (1961), Domenica sera (1962), Emigranti (1963), and Evasi (1964) garnered him awards at the Festival di Montecatini. Through the support of his wife Neria Poli and Silvano Agosti he made his first feature Il pianeta azzurro (1982) which competed in the 50th Venice Film Festival and garnered him the BCV for new film authors, the UNESCO award, and the Nastro d’argento. In the 1984 season of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino he directed Puccini’s Suor Angelica, in 1985 Verdi’s Forza del destino, and in 1990 Bellini’s Norma at the Teatro Grande, Brescia. In 1989 he continued his personal film style combining documentary and poetry in Nosios, il ritorno, a reworking of the Ulysees tale, presented at the Locarno Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco, and at the Moscow Film Festival. In 1996 he completed this trilogy with the feature Voci nel tempo, which garnered him the FEDIC award at Venice and the audience prize at the Filmtage Göttingen, 1988. His Al primo soffio di vento (2002) ran in the competition at Locarno and was shown at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. It won the audience award at the 16th Neue Heimatfilm, Freistadt, and the best foreign film award at the 2004 Santa Cruz Film Festival. In 2004 he received the Premio Vittorio De Sica at the Quirinale ceremony. Affettuosa presenza (2005), a portrait of his friend and poet Umberto Bellitani was based on his correspondence with Alessandro Parronchi. Il pianeta Azzurro (2008) was shown at Lincoln Center, New York City. L’Orto di Flora (2009) was an episode in Ermanno Olmi’s Terra Madre. In 2010 he was awarded the Premio Solina medal by the president of the Republic of Italy. In 2016 a retrospective of his complete works was shown at the Festival Cinema du Réel at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Feste, his final medium-length film was shown at Locarno. His films received international awards, but he never left his home province.