Members’ Voices: Tómas and Joaquín Gómez, ONA Short Film Festival


Every year around the world, there are hundreds of festivals that take place to celebrate the art of film and its power to communicate. Many film festivals focus on a specific theme or type of film. In fact, there are a number of film festivals dedicated specifically to mountains and the outdoors, and several of those festivals are members of the Mountain Partnership, the United Nations alliance for mountains.

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat recently caught up with brothers Tómas and Joaquín Gómez, the directors of the ONA Short Film Festival – the latest festival to join our mountain alliance. Here is what they had to say about their festival, mountains, and the power of working together for sustainable development!

Let us start with the basics: What is the ONA Short Film Festival? How is your mission related to mountains?

The ONA Short Film Festival aims to share life-changing stories of outdoor sports, nature and environmental awareness. We believe these themes can have a vital impact on today’s society.

Direct contact with nature awakens us to the knowledge that we are a pivotal piece of the environment in which we live, and we have a responsibility to protect it. Outdoor sports ultimately instill in us the values that make us more sensitive people and create a better world for future adventurers.

Why do mountains personally matter to you and to the filmmakers you work with?

We have been mountaineers since we were born, so we understand the social and emotional impact that mountains and nature carry, especially how they make us feel. So, we think short films are a wonderful way for new adventurers to experience this feeling and become intrigued by the mountains. For the people who have already fallen in love with them, it is just a beautiful reminder of how good the mountains made them feel.

How does the ONA Short Film Festival promote sustainable mountain development and awareness of mountain issues?

Our festival promotes sustainability through its many collaborators, all of whom have an in-depth knowledge of this matter. We have the honour of working with organizations such as Wetlands International and the Soccorso Alpino Italiano (Italian Mountain Rescue) that promote the values of mountain sustainability. We would love to participate in and to organize more events in which people are informed about the many issues facing mountains, as well as to gather our own community to clean our city and surrounding natural environment and make this a regular practice in the rest of the world. Our number one rule we abide by in nature is: leave no trace.

Tell us about some of the impacts you have witnessed the Festival have on your community.

We try to include our local community in Venice as much as we can. We feel that we live in a unique city, and the way to transmit the essence of it to the people that attend our festival is for us to include local organizations, suppliers, artisans, artists and professionals from all around the island to tell their stories themselves. We want Venice to feel its a part of our movement.

Why did your Festival decide to join the Mountain Partnership, and how do you envision giving back to the alliance?

We believe it is important to be in connection with organizations working in the same field as we are. Sharing stories, actions and experiences creates a strong community from which we all can benefit.
ONA also represents the voice of the younger generations and a way to communicate with them. We create content and events that are directed at that audience, so we believe that we can be very useful in involving youth in our mountain movement.

If you could tell the world one thing we can do to help sustainable mountain development, what would that be?

Be aware! The biggest problem we have right now is the lack of information that some people and communities have about the importance of mountains as key resource for life and the living environment of an uncountable number of species and flora. We want to try to spread the word through audiovisual messages.

The ONA Short Film Festival will take place on 8-10 September 2022 in Venice, Italy. Learn more.

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