by Alessandra Cardone
VENICE, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Two nature documentaries in competition at the 73rd Venice Film Festival won the aequo 2016 Green Drop Award here on Friday.
"Voyage of Time: Life's Journey" by American Terrence Malick, and "Spira Mirabilis" by Italian Massimo D'Anolfi and Martina Parenti were recognized the prize during an awarding ceremony held at the Excelsior Hotel in Venice Lido.
Running both in the main competition, the two films were honored "for narrating nature's aspiration for immortality, and for sparking reflections on the relationship between man and nature and the meaning of our pace in the universe," the jury said.
Since 2012, the Green Drop Award is given by environmental association Green Cross Italy to the film deemed to best represent the values of ecology and sustainable development among those competing at the international film festival.
The 90-minute version of Malick's documentary premiered on Sept. 6, offering a spectacular and lyric voyage throughout the nature and the deep space.
It received a very warm welcome by both media and audience.
"Spira Mirabilis", which premiered on Sept. 4, was "a visual symphony shot in four different places around the world, and featuring four different stories that tell and show a reaching out towards immortality," according to directors D'Anolfi and Parenti.
The jury, which included Italian director Ricky Tognazzi and actress and screenwriter Simona Izzo, recognized their non-fictional exploration of nature for its investigation on the concept of immortality through the four elements of life: water, air, earth, and fire.
"The fact that different artists came to explore similar themes... proves there is a common struggle in order to understand our place (as human beings) in the history of time and life," the jurors said.
Indeed, the Green Drop Award's jurors seemed to have no hard task this year.
"Awarding this prize truly seems to become easier every year, since environmental issues increasingly permeate cinema," Green Drop Award director Marco Gisotti told Xinhua after the ceremony.
"Auteurs are more and more aware themselves: yet, not just because they are avant-garde artists, but because they are able to intercept a common feeling in their societies."
"The same days in which we were coming here at Venice, U.S. and China have ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement. I my opinion, this is not by chance," Gisotti stressed.
All winners or their representatives received the Green Drop Award trophy on Friday: that is, a Murano glass artefact shaped into a hollow drop of water, and filled with a sample of soil collected from a different area in the world in each edition.
After Antarctica, Brazil, Egypt, and Senegal, this year's trophy contained soil from the Italian town of Assisi, in the Umbria region, for its vocation to "reconstruction, reunification, and restoration of the fracture between human and nature," Green Cross Italy president Elio Pacilio said.
Taking a larger space within the Venice Fest, the Green Drop Award provided several events this year.
For example, there was a "green cinema" workshop for sector experts and journalists, organized in cooperation with Italy's Federation of Environmental Media (FIMA), and Connect4Climate, the global program launched by the World Bank Group and the Italian Ministry of Environment.
Another seminar was devoted to exploring "The role of creative industries in promoting climate action to protect global culture."
Green Cross International was established in 1993 by the initiative of former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, and is now present in some 35 countries across the world.
At the ceremony, Green Cross Italy's organizers stressed their next goal would be to expand their activities in order to promote "not only environmental contents in cinema, but environment-friendly and energy-efficient cinema productions."