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Messages from the Presidents of Juries

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.
Marcelo Fortaleza Flores