The Alpine Convention premiered its new video “Leading the way for sustainable life” in autumn 2021 (other language versions to follow). On 6 May 2022, the video was awarded for its excellence at the 4thInternational Tourism Film Festival Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. The festival promotes works with exceptional and innovative content created on all continents – TV ads, promotional films, video campaigns, videos for social media, documentaries and reports related to the promotion of destinations. A warm congratulations to all the other finalists!
Among the 320 entries from 55 countries, the international jury awarded the Alpine Convention video with the gold award in the international subcategory “Sustainable Tourism”. Sustainable tourism is an integral part of the sustainable development of the entire region and is the only way to keep the Alps attractive, not only for tourists to visit, but most importantly, for their inhabitants to lead a high-quality life.
“This award is not only a confirmation that, together with the production team we created an excellent product acknowledged by an international expert jury, but this is also a great opportunity to present the Alpine Convention to an international audience – through the lens of tourism, but stressing the perspective and importance of sustainability and the impact it has on the region and its inhabitants as a whole” said Alenka Smerkolj, Secretary General of the Alpine Convention.
To get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the project, read our interview with the producer and author of the original soundtrack Žiga Pirnat and the film’s director Nejc Levstik!
What made you choose to take on this project to make a film about the Alpine Convention? How is it different (if at all) from other projects you have worked on?
Nejc: The main reason I chose to participate in this project was the fact that the film would have an original soundtrack, written by Žiga Pirnat. In the beginning this was the biggest difference, because we don’t often have the privilege to create music especially for a project. The video clips of the eight countries, which are a part of the Alpine Convention, really come to life with the music performed by a real orchestra.
Žiga: Definitely good energy and working with an amazing team – on the side of the Alpine Convention as well as the creative team, Nejc, Rožle [Rožle Bregar, director of photography] and the rest of the Vizualist team, with whom we have previously created great projects to promote sustainable development.
Why did you choose the specific location and images for this film? What messages were you trying to convey with the visuals?
Nejc: In the Alps, it seems that almost anywhere you point your camera, you will be able to film something really photogenic. But this is not enough to tell the story. We tried to intertwine the video clips of nature with the story of those who enjoy this world – the people. The Alpine world is one of several nations and all generations, it is visited by people from all over the world, who come back again and again, and everyone finds something for themselves here.
Žiga: The most important criterion was the story, which we wrote together with the director Nejc and with inputs and comments from the Alpine Convention representatives. The interconnectedness of the incredible natural and cultural heritage; the coexistence of numerous generations who preserve traditions and at the same time guide this environment and society towards a better future with innovative practices. We combined all this into a narrative which revolves around a basic element – stone. With the help of our main character, the stone becomes an Alpine-wide symbol – the cairn. The second criterion was the fact that the Alpine Convention includes eight countries, so it was important from the technical and symbolic point of view that each of them is featured in the video in one way or another.
It cannot be easy to try and capture the essence of an international organisation on camera. What were some of the biggest challenges that you encountered when making this film?
Nejc: The biggest challenge was certainly to show the full diversity of such a big area, such a big part of Europe in only two minutes. The filming for such a video could take several years – we did it in only a few days!
Žiga: It certainly was a big challenge to set up this project, which would normally take a much higher budget and number of filming days, but thanks to the commitment and engagement of the teams, we managed to realise it at the desired level. Unfortunately, the weather did not always play along, as some of the locations were snowed in, which extended the filming for several months. But nevertheless – all is well that ends well.