Milo Manara creates the poster of the 70th Mountain film and culture festival

After the rejected poster in 1997, the artist from Veneto is once again in the spotlight in Trento

“The mythological and fairy-tale dimension is the purest essence of the mountains”. 

Leveghi: “We turn over the page in a book left open and recount the culture of the mountains in our times, amidst hopes and fears”.

As Franco de Battaglia has written, the posters for Trento Film Festival «have gone from straightforward fliers for a few evenings at the cinema to posters portraying the different aspects of the mountains, evoking a grandeur the mountains not only communicate but also embody, emotions they embrace and defend, also secretly». For this reason, there is always a sense of great expectation as regards the artist and subject of the Festival poster, managing to surprise us each year and suggesting new and original ways of interpreting the era in which we live and the future awaiting us. For this seventieth edition (29 April – 8 May 2022), Trento Film Festival has decided to look back in order to move forwards, asking Milo Manara, one of Italy’s greatest cartoonists and illustrators, to return to the limelight of the Festival, after the poster unjustly rejected in 1997.

«It is a homage to a great Italian artist, turning over a new leaf in a book left open: from the poster “not fulfilled” in 1997 to the creation of the poster for the seventieth anniversary, from a seductive water nymph to one who withdraws warily, reflecting a culture of the mountains suspended between the dimensions of myth, history and legend» says Mauro Leveghi, President of Trento Film Festival. «A quiet melancholy surfaces from the dark lake, reflecting the rose-tinted outline of the Dolomites in a flicker of light. An atmosphere suspended between the obscurity of human intimacy and the mystery of nature, not always fully comprehensible, and the crystal-clear beauty of the world. An image that appears to reflect our times, torn between hopes and fears, disorientation and confidence, with an eye on the future».

«Born in the heart of the mountains south of Val Pusteria, the first things I read were the books of Karl Felix Wolff, recounting the Dolomitic legends of the Kingdom of Fanes and the pale mountains, imbued with mystery and peopled by mythological creatures» explains Milo Manara. «They were mostly monstrous, frightening creatures, like the cruel sorcerer Spina de Mul, half mule and half skeleton, who dragged himself through the meadows and crags. Then there were witches, ogres and dragons. For the Trento Film Festival poster, I had already tried to recreate this fairy-tale, mythological dimension in the image rejected in 1997, but focusing on the sweeter and more peaceful elements. Out of all these creatures I chose the most seductive, the ‘Ondina’, a semi-aquatic nymph said to live in the alpine lakes. For this second poster I have explored the same theme, but with a variation in a minor key, to use a musical term. It is a more melancholic variation, in terms of the shades of colour used to develop the subject. In the 1997 poster, the composition was decidedly “in a more joyful key”, more serene, with the mysterious Ondina at the centre of the majestic setting of the Dolomites».

So why the choice of a soulful key today? «Since then, a lot of things have happened that have made the consequences of our impact on the environment increasingly clear, also in the mountains» continues Manara. «Climate change and the inexorable melting of the alpine glaciers, the disastrous catastrophe of Storm Vaia… it has become unmistakably clear that human intervention risks destroying the balance of nature. The new Ondina is no longer a happy creature, but rather frightened and diffident: before she seduced, now she looks at us as if we are intruders, ready to plunge back down into the waters».


Film Festival della Montagna