Accessible and nature tourism are this year’s stars at the Terres Travel Festival awards

  • The 5th edition of the tourism film festival was held in Tortosa from 3 to 11 September 2021
  • Almost 100 productions from 26 countries participated in the official competition

The awards for best films in the fifth annual Terres Travel Festival were made public on Friday 10 September. The festival specializes in tourism and travel films and was held in Tortosa between 3 and 11 September. The Grand Prix was awarded to the Australian film Seek Different directed by Mark Toia and produced by Keri Grant. The film promotes the uniqueness of the Northern Territory of Australia and shows how its distinct features can attract, above all, domestic tourism in the present context when the Covid pandemic has reduced the options of international travel. Another of the key prizes awarded at the festival went to From Trash to Treasure: turning negatives into positives directed by Lara Lee and produced by Cultures of Resistance Films. This film about the creativity and innovation capacity of the people of Lesotho, a small country surrounded by South Africa, was awarded the Terres de l’Ebre prize for Best Film Promoting Sustainability.

The film Kayak no limits – Menorca in the dark by Joan Carles Moreno Álvarez and Isaac Padrós Suárez has won two awards: Best Feature Film and the Climent Ferrer Award for Best Production Showing the Values of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The film explains the story of Isaac Padrós, a young blind man, who, with the help of his friend and guide Rai Puig, kayaked around the island of Menorca in 13 days.

The documentary Perfect Chapter. Looking for Perfection by António Matos da Silva, and produced by Adilson Lima, won the Restart (Recomencem) Award given by the Terres de l’Ebre Tourism Board. The film follows the story of participants in the Perfect Chapter, a surfing competition held in the small Portuguese town of Nazaré, one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world thanks to the huge (sometimes over 20 metres in height) waves created there. A fascinating look at this sporting event and the natural surroundings of this unique corner of Europe.

Respect for territory and cultures

The Terres Travel Festival has also recognized the Best Fim Showing a Social Initiative to Revalue a Territory. Sponsored by the Innomnium Foundation, the prize was awarded to Slovenia, the bear country. A peaceful coexistence, a film about the recovery of the bear population in Slovenia, an animal which was in danger of disappearing a century ago. The Unesco ePlatform has decided to give their Best Production Encouraging Respect among Cultures award to Wine and War. With this documentary, film-makers Mark Johnston and Mark Ryan aim to change the international perception of the Middle East, especially Lebanon, through the stories of thousands of years of wine-making in a politically unstable land, often plagued by occupations, wars and famine.

The Gold Tourism Products for Best Cultural Destination awarded by Laquarta – Sant Josep Wines recognizes the quality of Reconnect with the World in the Islands of Tahiti produced by the French Polynesia Tourism Board and directed by Circul8. The film shows the natural features of the islands and South Pacific waters and aims to seduce tourists who have seen a need to reconnect with themselves by visiting natural areas after the experience of the pandemic.

This year’s Terres Pioneers Award for travellers who work to promote touristic destinations has recognized the work of the journalist Paco Nadal. A travel writer for over twenty-five years, he has become one of the reference names in the world of travel journalism in Catalonia and Spain. He has written more than ten books, collaborated on radio shows, and directed and presented documentaries on different television channels. His travel blog, El blog de Paco Nadal in the newspaper El País is one of the most influential ones in this sector. His open, honest and direct way of communicating brings the diversity of the world and a passion to discover new destinations to thousands of people.

The return to normality after the pandemic is the theme behind the tourism campaign Costa Daurada, Like always, co-directed by the film-maker Ramon Balagué which has won the Gold Prize in Tourism Products for Authentic Experiences award. The director, Albert Vidal from Deltebre, received the Gold Prize in Tourism Services – Innovation for Només tu i el Delta (Just you and the Delta) and its look at eco-tourism activities in the Ebro Delta.

Difficulties for international travel and strict health and safety measures in place meant that the Terres Travel Festival award ceremony was carried out online, broadcast via the festival’s social networks. The ceremony was presented by the actress Ivana Miño from different natural and historic areas in Tortosa and the Terres de l’Ebre region with the aim of promoting internationally the diverse touristic options here in the south of Catalonia.