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A Tribute to Nature: Swiss Cultural Festival to kick off today

By JT - Jul 27,2021 - Last updated at Jul 28,2021

Image courtesy of Swiss embassy

AMMAN — The Swiss Cultural Festival “Tribute to Nature” will kick off on Wednesday with two films and one exhibition highlighting the importance of environmental protection.

Presented by the embassy of Switzerland in Jordan in collaboration with the Royal Film Commission, the Tribute to Nature Festival will feature two award-winning Swiss films, an exhibition on 20 innovative, environmentally friendly solutions from Switzerland and a panel discussion with distinguished experts from both countries, a Swiss embassy statement said.

The event will run from July 28, 2021 to August 7, 2021 at the premises of the Royal Film Commission in Jabal Amman. 

All over the world bees have been dying for the past three years. Although the causes for this are still a mystery, one thing is already clear: There is more at stake than simply a few dead insects and a great deal more than just honey, read the statement. 

The documentary film “More than Honey” directed by the Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof, takes the viewer on a journey to meet with people whose lives depend on bees. The film also reports on how bees are vanishing. 

The film has won numerous prizes including the Swiss Film Award in 2013, the Audience Award at the UK Green Film Festivals in the same year and was submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards. 

Alongside “More than Honey”, the festival includes the screening of the feature film “Paradise War - the Story of Bruno Manser”, which is based on a true story.

Swiss ethnologist Bruno Manser was one of the most renowned and credible environmental activists of his time. During his travels to the jungle of Borneo in 1984 on search of an experience beyond modern civilisation, his life changed forever. 

When the existence of the indigenous people, the Penan, are threatened by relentless deforestation, Manser begins to fight against the logging industry with courage and determination.

“Paradise War - The Story of Bruno Manser”, directed by Niklaus Hilber, was presented in several festivals in Switzerland and honoured among other prizes with the Science Film Award at the 2019 Zurich Film Festival. The film will be presented in Amman for the first time on August 4, 2021 at 8pm (doors open at 7:30pm). 

In addition, the Tribute to Nature Festival will also host an exhibition called “Can Tech Save the World?” showcasing 20 innovative solutions developed in Switzerland to protect the environment and make societies more resilient. 

The aim of the exhibition, which has already been presented in various cities around the globe, as well as in Aqaba last month, is to create dialogue and accelerate the exchange of solutions around five major environmental challenges, the statement said.

Access to quality water, waste recovery, maintenance of biodiversity, access to energy for all and carbon-free mobility are the five key topics the exhibition highlights. 

The Tribute to Nature Festival will launch on Wednesday, July 28 at 8pm (doors open at 7:30pm) with the screening of the film “More than Honey”. 

The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Khaled Irani, president of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Nizar Haddad, general director of the National Agricultural Research Centre, Said Ahmad Damhoureyeh, regional councillor at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Andreas Koenig, president of the Aargau Beekeepers’ Association in Switzerland. 

The festival is supported by Presence Switzerland, the agency of the Swiss federal department of foreign affairs responsible for promoting Switzerland’s image abroad. 

All events are free of charge and open to the public. Spaces are limited. COVID-19 safety measures apply. 

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