Message from Marcelo Fortaleza Flores
I must tell you how is it that I have gotten here. Not to tell who I am, that is not important.But to make you reflect upon what was it that brought each one of you here, what paths... which words... what experiences have led you to be part of the opening of a festival whose destiny it is to change the way we see each other and the world, how we regard nature and our relationship with it, how we regard other cultures, realizing how much we share, and how we must work together to keep our world as beautiful and plentiful as we have seen it,for one another, for our children.So apparently the whole world is alive in conversation, teaching, learning, making one another see, in spite of those stubborn human beings who cut themselves off from others,from nature, hold another culture in disregard and therefore do not learn anything from it,or the worst of all human kind: those who think animals, plants, trees, indigenous peoples,other cultures, are all dispensable.
Like the Jain practitioner who will not crush an insect or pluck a flower, like Gandhi, Thoreau or Lao Tsu, who would rather admire or converse with them, the Golden Tree Festival is here to correct all this. It wants us to converse and look in the same direction. Not only when we go to the screenings to see films in the next three days, but through the encounters you will have in the Festival’s corridors, and when you leave the Festival. So pay attention to what may be said to you by a person, an animal, a mountain, a human being, an old woman like the one on the Festival poster, or a child, a bird, the burning sun, the moon, the wind, the river, water, a griot, a pygmy from Congo, an Ashaninka shaman from the Amazon Forest, in the forum that will take place on the Festival’s last day. Whatever you learn will be your prize and gift. Take it with you, and help us to converse and change the world.
Message from Thomas Frickel
Dear Mrs. Wang, as director of the festival, honorable guests of the 2nd Golden Tree International Documentary Films Festival, ladies and gentlemen, For me it was not only an honor, but a pleasure to be invited to preside over the international jury of this young but rapidly growing and developing festival. I think I can also speak on behalf of the other jury members when I say thank you for inviting us to Frankfurt and thank you for this remarkable experience.
There was no general debate about the question which criteria a good documentary has to fulfil, but tacitly we realized that all of us were looking for an open-minded and curious view of reality. Of course we had some discussions on the question whether and how this or that film meets the theme“ Man and Nature”, which was the general motto of this festival. Although it was interesting to watch people organizing their everyday lives or expressing their thoughts and dreams by means of their creativity, we had to leave some really excellent films out of consideration, because from our point of view, they did not exactly fit the thematic framework of the festival. Therefore we would recommend that the Golden Tree should sharpen its profile and focus on the question of how man is dealing with nature, natural resources and the environment, because solving the various problems that are connected with these questions is the essential challenge for our century, as I have mentioned before.
During three long and intensive days, we have seen a lot of remarkable films from all around the world. We have learned a lot about other people and cultures, in other words, we saw the documentary genre at its best.
Message from George Kurian
We were looking at which story was well told, characters fleshed out and the cinematography and the film making enabling the story in the best way for us to understand it. I know the Golden Tree international documentary film festival is just two years old, it’s a fantastic effort and I wish it all the best.
Message from Paul Lewis
this is my second year and actually one of my colleagues in China asked if I would be on the jury last year because he wasn’t able to come, so I was happy to take the opportunity, it was a new festival last year and it was exciting and I saw lots of fantastic programs that I had never seen before, so here I am again. I think that the range of films is much more diverse this time around, I mean I feel like I just had a three day trip around the globe to some of the most fascinating places and really meeting some interesting characters in all these stories. I think the quality of the programming is much more improved over last year and the range. This is an opportunity to really hear from everyday people living all around the world, sharing the same kinds of challenges that we all face and frustrations, it’s good to connect with the rest of the world like that.
Message from Gao Feng
I think the Second Golden Tree International Documentary Festival is very successful. Although this is only the second time, it is both significant and qualitative in quality. I hope more people will get to know the Golden Tree International Documentary Festival and I believe there will be a greater impact in the world next year.