Across the Alps documentary dossier

Download the shorter 1 page documentary pdf Attraverso le Alpi EN 2018 light or read below the full dossier.

frame da Clip #14 tunnel del Sempione copyright

Basic datas

Directors: mr Giancarlo Bertalero and mr Filippo Ciardi

Producers: mr Giancarlo Bertalero and mr Filippo Ciardi through Attraversamenti association

Dialogues languages: Italian (mainly), English, German, French

Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish subtitled versions available

Year of first public screening: 2016, at Cinemambiente festival in Torino, winner as “best italian documentary”

Country of Origin: Italy, shot also in France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium

Running Time: 81 minutes (other duration versions possible)


Whom belong the Alps to? Who regulates their “life”, the people who live there or the goods and passengers that pass through them? Have you ever thought about how many and which goods are transported every day on trucks and trains through tunnels and mountain passes, and how that affects the daily lives of the citizens of most of Europe and the natural environment?

This film aims to highlight the importance of these questions and seeks answers through a journey of the authors through the Alps, to the discovery of the complexity of the traffic of goods and people, along with some of the protagonists of these streams, which flow like rivers of water in a series of communicating vessels in the constant risk of overload.

The viewer will be “transported” on board of various means on the main passages through the Alps, including Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. He/she will be emotionally involved by the symbolic stories of rail operators, truck drivers, motorists, environmental tourists and other travelers, and will reflect on the statements of Alpine traffic managers and transport companies executives. The audience will enjoy the beauty of one of the most important mountain ranges in the world, which will talk about itself showing pictures of its own nature of barrier but also of European gateway.

The idea

The idea of this documentary was born following an important investigation made from 2012 and 2013 by Transit, the Italian – French freight and passengers traffic observatory, funded by the European Commission and managed by C.A.F.I. – Conferenza delle Alpi Franco Italiane [1] – . During the study, at the moment the most accurate on this subject, we became aware of how the freight and passengers Alpine traffic, the problems connected with it and infrastructural interventions under study and implementation, are rarely treated and explained in their overall entirety.

The documentary has the purpose to show how important and correlated the Alpine crossing are for the freights and passengers transport systems within the European context. Freights and passengers travel as in a series of connected vessels: if a pass or a tunnel is too expensive or closed, it will overload the others, unless the overall flow decreases. The Alps are not only one of the most extensive natural areas of Europe but also a territory inhabited by 14 million people spread over its 190,959 km ², with a length of about 1,200 km and 300 km of maximum width but they are also part and borders of eight countries: Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Italy, France and Monte Carlo. In this documentary, we treated them as a barrier as well as a junction and crossing point both for the people movement and for freight traffic. The Alpine crossings, their management and related issues have a direct and immediate impact throughout the whole Europe and its citizens.

Screenplay and characters

The aim of the project is to draw an informative and emotional picture through multiple travel stories and testimonies of experts and traffic workers, analyzing territorial, economic, technical and environmental aspects of European communication routes passing through the Alps.

This is possible thanks to the participation of characters like:

  • traffic management functionaries of alpine transports
  • train operators
  • truckers
  • referents of Alpine-Rail-Highways
  • road and train transport managers and business men
  • representatives of local movements for the protection of the territory
  • inhabitants of the valleys

Through their testimonies and with the support of public datas, the documentary shows the transport through the Alps on the main crossing points, summarized in the image below, highlighting the unsustainability of the current situation, and the need to develop the intermodal transport, to maximize the train use, diminishing the trucks travels, especially on the long distances.

Production and distribution

The movie was shot with 2 mirrorless cameras with high bitrate recording in full HD 25p, using interchangeable lenses and external microphones. It was edited mainly in Final Cut Pro X.

The images were shot during 2015 and the editing concluded in the first half of 2016 for a first 81 minutes feature documentary, but it could be edited in different formats for screening at festivals and in TV channels (with subtitles in several languages) and for a DVD and / or BlueRay version.

To produce the documentary we created the association “Attraversamenti”. Some of the most important transport companies operating across the Alps have supported the project financially or logistically, helping to define the stories to film or by allowing us to travel on their own means (trains, trucks, etc.)

The documentary production budget is around € 40.000 and we still need other contributions by institutions, companies and citizens, to cover the distribution costs of the film.

Directors short biography

Giancarlo Bertalero: freelance engineer and on leave officer of army alpine special forces. After a long experience in logistics and transport multinational companies (TNT and CEVA Logistics) he worked as coordinator of the traffic observatory of Italy – France cross-border ( The idea of this documentary was born thanks to this experience.

Filippo Ciardi: freelance journalist, photoreporter, filmmaker and social economist. After a long job for the weekly magazine Toscana Oggi, and an experience in communication and fundraising for non-governmental organizations like AIFO, LVIA and CCM, he is now working on his own projects including a documentary on flamenco (, and other projects (


Giancarlo Bertalero: / +393284894738

Filippo Ciardi: +393286789849 +34684120101

[1] Association for the cross-border cooperation formed by the French departments of Alpes Maritimes, Alpes de Haute Provence, Hautes Alpes, dell’Isère, Savoie and Haute Savoie, and by Italians provinces of Imperia, Cuneo e Torino and the Regione Valle d’Aosta.

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