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Cannes 2024 – Marché du Film

Rapporto industria: Iniziative green e sostenibilità

Impatto positivo e sostenibilità al centro della scena del Marché du Film di quest'anno


CANNES 2024: Un gruppo di relatori ha riflettuto, tra l'altro, su narrazione, cambiamento di mentalità, virtue signalling e ripensamento della natura dell'industria

Impatto positivo e sostenibilità al centro della scena del Marché du Film di quest'anno
sx-dx: Sandy Arzur, Alma Gavazzi, Leslie Thomas, Paula Vaccaro, Antoine Barraud e Mercedes Fernandez Alonso durante il panel

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On 20 May, Cannes’ Marché du Film hosted a panel titled “Superpower of New Narratives in the Cinema Industry: Inclusive and Sustainable Fictions to Push Our Ecosystem Forward”, presented by Screens of Tomorrow.

The impACT talk, moderated by Sandy Arzur and Alma Gavazzi, saw the participation of writer-director Antoine Barraud, TorinoFilmLab managing director Mercedes Fernandez Alonso, CNC general secretary Leslie Thomas and writer-producer Paula Vaccaro.

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In her introduction, Arzur highlighted how the cultural and creative industries can have a hugely positive impact on society owing to their “superpowers”. Gavazzi pointed out their main such power – spreading impactful narratives that can bring about positive change, and pursue inclusivity and sustainability goals, among others. Some examples of the “superpowerful narratives” she cited included Don’t Look Up, Avatar and The Green Deal.

Barraud touched upon the elephant in the room – namely, the fear that pursuing sustainability goals may “restrict creativity”. However, he underscored how “most of the measures that need to be ‘activated’ during the making of a film don’t have an impact on its final look. […] It’s nothing you can see on screen,” he added, citing the example of using the same van and accommodation solutions as his crew. “[Doing so] actually improved relations. […] Similarly, if you eat vegan or vegetarian, you don’t see that on screen. The only important thing is that it tastes good. […] If by thinking ‘green’ you can improve wellbeing in the workplace, it’s a win-win situation,” he summed up.

Vaccaro spoke about the potential harm of virtue signalling, adding how more and more people, including youngsters, are backing causes “with zero understanding and creating an unsustainable idea of the world. […] We’re more disconnected, more divided and less aware. What went wrong? The directors I work with – especially the big ones – start out with festivals like Cannes, where producers aren’t even listed in the catalogue. The festival invites the director, not the producer. And I’m here making environmental decisions and yet am the least important person. When the culture sustains this idea – and this applies mostly to men, the numbers are there – which says that you’re a god, how can I tell a person to stay at the bed and breakfast around the corner instead of going to a five-star hotel?”

The example she gave is part of a much-needed “shift of culture and understanding”, which requires specific goals, grants and resources. She reflected on how the very same panel about inclusivity she was taking part in wasn’t accessible to deaf people, where AI transcription software could be of help. She invited everyone to engage in a “bigger conversation”, going against ideological binarism and radicalism.

Towards the end of the conversation, Fernandez Alonso spoke about TorinoFilmLab’s mission to help writers and directors who are developing their scripts. “At one point, we asked ourselves what we could do as an organisation to help bring about change, and take responsibility over issues like climate change. […] We started organising training for professionals on pre-production and sustainable sets, but the most interesting aspect we wanted to focus on was storytelling. Plus, all of these issues aren’t part of a checklist. Writers freak out when they’re forced to speak about certain themes, and rightly so. We also realise this is a new area of content, so with our lab, we try to promote a change in mindset.”

Crafting powerful narratives is also a way to engage with new, younger audiences and “to speak about our world today, without lagging behind”, Fernandez Alonso added. The lab’s working method is uniquely based on creative freedom – the writers reveal the story they want to tell, and they receive help and advice along the way.

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