The New Wild: 
Life in the Abandoned Lands




An update: First 'Teaser' and a last chance to get involved!

The success of the crowd funding campaign meant that this film could be produced. It's thanks to ordinary people who wanted to participate and support the project from the very beginning that The New Wild: Life in the Abandoned Lands is now "coming soon"...

The good news is that with Indiegogo's new InDemand option it's now possible for others to get involved and contribute in these closing stages as well. As before, of course, all contributors will receive access to the film, with options for limited edition books, credits and more. There are also exciting new perks available, including your very own screening with the director!

Money raised will go towards completing the film as well as towards the first phase of distribution: getting the film into as many film festivals around the world as possible. 

So where are we at? Production is closed and the edit is complete. What remains are the final stages of post-production – the grading and the mastering – as well as all the preparation necessary for the festival circuit and distribution.

Want to help make this film really sing? Want to help get it to as wide an audience as possible? Simply want to see the film when it's ready? Get involved and spread the word! It really makes all the difference...

About the film

As cities grow and rural populations decline, new and surprising landscapes are appearing across Europe. In fact, with farmland and country life continuing to be relinquished, estimates suggest that by 2030 an additional area the size of Poland will have been vacated. What will become of these territories, deemed unproductive by contemporary economics? Right now they are being reclaimed by a self-willed natural world, and fast. If popular ideas of wilderness have tended to evoke the primaeval, a land of before rather than after, then what of these new abandoned landscapes? 

This is the New Wild.

The change marks a challenge and an opportunity: to some a loss, to others a richness. Should we celebrate the excitement and ecological potential of this converted world? Or mourn the collapse of local culture as the shift to consumer-friendly cities becomes total? And what of those few who live on here? What is our role in these environments? Participant or outcast? Inhabitant or tourist? Bystander or steward? The reality is, of course, far more complicated than these counter absolutes, but a better understanding of the questions seems pertinent, especially as we start to think about what we should or indeed should not do with these fascinating and expanding landscapes.

The mountains, ever hostile to industrial farming techniques, are at the forefront of this transition and offer insights into the dynamics of these natural and cultural processes. As such, we travel in this film to an alpine valley in the middle of things, a borderland where the Latin, Germanic and Slavic cultures combine, and where some villages already lie silent and empty. Val Aupa is a spectacular example of an authentic rewilding unplanned; its lush yet young forests are full of secrets and surprises, visual clues that testify to the incredible metamorphosis underway. What makes this case study of even greater interest is not just that so many people have left, but that despite this apparently insuppressible momentum some choose to remain, and that now, slowly, others are choosing to come…

Half way up the valley is the small village of Dordolla. There is an energy and a sense of community here, a determination to keep rural, mountain life alive and meaningful in the 21st century. Traditional agriculture has been reintroduced on the steep slopes around the village, while a social life that centres around the bar has expanded into a full cultural calendar of concerts and theatre, exhibitions and festivities. “Dordolla non molla!” is cried in defiance: “Don’t let go of Dordolla!” Is this life in the abandoned lands a form of stubbornness? Bravura? Romance? Or is it something more? Is this a localised village of the past or the future? 

This feature documentary will take us on a journey to explore the intrigue and beauty of this secretive environment, uncovering the timely questions that this compelling story has to offer.

In proud collaboration with
the research group:

Department of Geography
University of Innsbruck

With generous support from
Gruppo TerreAlte, UNIKUM and
Mountain Wilderness Schweiz

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