Private Project

Restoring Italy's Wild Heart

Restoring Italy’s Wild Heart is a short film that places a spotlight on the people in the Apennine Mountain range, who are doing extraordinary things to restore their native ecosystem and promote progressive coexistence within it.
Only 2 hours from Rome but untouched by heavy industry this almost forgotten region is a reminder of how things once were, and is known as the country’s ‘Wild Heart’. It is also a sanctuary for the native species who once roamed throughout Italy…
From the iconic Marsican Brown bear, the Apennine Wolf, Griffin vultures, Wild cats, scores of ungulates… From the biggest to the smallest – it is brimming with life…
And yet in such a small area where human infrastructure continues to disrupt this pristine ecosystem, close proximity has led to clashes between the people who live here and their wild neighbours…
Thanks to the tireless efforts of unique individuals and organisations, the work taking place in the Apennines is perhaps a model, or pilot experience of how communities might work together united in the goal of coexisting with wildlife to ultimately help rewild our planet once more.
This film not only showcases the beauty of this region but also highlights these incredible efforts through a story telling narrative.

  • Olly Pemberton
  • Olly Pemberton
  • Olly Pemberton
  • Virginia Sciore
    Key Cast
  • Mario Cipollone
    Key Cast
  • Bruno D'Amicis
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Wildlife, Environmental
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 9, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Olly Pemberton

Olly Pemberton is an award-winning Director, Cameraman and Editor. As a Producer/Director and Cameraman he comes with a wide experience of filming all over the world with Adventure brands and Charitable organisations. His film “Nepal - one year on” telling the story of the relief effort for a remote village after the earthquake of 2015 was nominated for an award and featured on radio and TV. His film “Carried Away” about the porters of the Inca Trail in Peru was also nominated for 6 separate awards and was a winner in the 2019 Mountain Film Festival. His most recent film NGUMU about the lives of female porters on Kilimanjaro was also official also nominated for 4 seperate awards

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Director Statement

When shooting this mini-documentary, what stood out for me was realising just how incredibly multi-layered the work that is going on in the Apennines actually is.
The movement in this area started as a hugely ambitious project that requires a deep knowledge with the people and the wildlife in this area.
So for me, it was an absolute privilege to be able to film the individuals in this region who are doing just that. This model of coexistence and rewilding is working. It is creating tangible, positive change that could be the start of how rural communities who experience clashes with wildlife can learn to work with their environment instead of against it. So to be able to put a spotlight on this movement, for me, was incredibly special.