A call for producers to go green
by Birgit Heidsiek
- CANNES NEXT: In the run-up to the COP 21 in Paris, the film industry discussed measures intended to lower its carbon footprint
At the NEXT Pavilion of the Cannes Film Festival, the international Film4Climate initiative invited industry members and representatives of environmental organisations to discuss measures in order to reduce the environmental impact of film production as well as raise awareness about climate change through cinema. “People want change, but they don’t want to change,” stated Paul Watson, former Greenpeace activist and the founder of non-profit organisation Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which fights to defend wildlife in the ocean. “We have to address this issue,” said Watson, making reference to the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris. “This is where the leadership has to make these changes work.”
Before the workshop kicked off at the NEXT Pavilion, Film4Climate and the French organisation Ecoprod, a coalition of TV stations and environmental organisations in France, closed a partnership with the aim of developing specific actions to lower the carbon footprint of the film and TV industry. “We are collaborating with 500 producers in France who are using our carbon calculator,” explained Olivier-René Veillon, chief executive officer of the Ile de France Film Commission and Ecoprod founding member. The Paris-based organisation convinced the French capital to avoid using generators for film shoots. At around 80 popular locations like the Eiffel Tower, where more than 100 movies are shot every year, film teams now have access to power grids.
Siebe Dumon, of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund in Belgium, outlined the E-Mission programme that provides support for producers who wish to go green. As the only film-funding organisation in Flanders, at VAF it is a condition to report the carbon footprint of a production in order to receive the last instalment of the film funding. “We have to protect what we have,” said Nevina Satta, CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission. “It is cheaper to be sustainable.” In her experience, green production also attracts investors and companies.
Further sustainable activities are the Green Film Initiative in Babelsberg as well as the international magazine Green Film Shooting, which focuses on sustainable film and media production worldwide. Furthermore, the brand-new Cine-Regio report was presented, which gives an overview of the sustainable activities of film funds and film commissions all over Europe. The report is available to download for free here.
Before the COP kicks off in Paris, Ecoprod will invite various industry professionals to a discussion on 18 November, focusing on how the film and TV industry can reduce its carbon footprint.