With its dedication to supporting sustainable approaches to Film/TV production, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) is a European frontrunner. Filmpool Nord, as well as the Lapland Film Commission in Sweden, have both sought an information exchange with the Hamburg Film Commission in order to benefit from its experience in the development of sustainable concepts and strategies. Thomas Gammeltoft, Managing Director of Copenhagen Film Fund, is also looking for inspiration in Hamburg.
The cooperation with neighboring Scandinavian countries developed naturally in this Hanseatic town was continually intensified through co-production meetings over the course of the years. „I’d like to develop multiple levels of cooperation with Scandinavia“, says Maria Köpf, CEO Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, who has already worked with partners from Denmark as a producer. As Managing Director of Zentropa Entertainments Berlin, she was the German co-producer of feature films such as Love Is all You Need by Susanne Bier and A Royal Affair by Nikolaj Arcel.
Denmark, notably, is also the first country in the world to switch to one-hundred percent sustainable agricultural cultivation. In order to make the change to ecological cultivation methods, the government has launched a € 50 million funding program that is granting incentives to green investments in the development of new technologies in the agricultural and food processing industries. In the film industry, sustainability has also become an issue. „Going green is the next step we’re taking“, says Thomas Gammeltoft, Managing Director of the Copenhagen Film Fund, who will collaborate closely on that with Film Greater Copenhagen, the new Film Commission in Denmark. „Hamburg is more than a showcase — its inspiring for us to see how we can work it out.“
Introduced in 2012, the Green Shooting Card, issued by the Hamburg Film Commission to productions that follow its Best Practices guidelines, has since been awarded to more than sixty productions: theatrical feature films; TV movies and series; student films; animated and short films from throughout Germany. Besides feature films such as: Buddy and Kleine Ziege, Sturer Bock; TV series like Notruf Hafenkante; the cult TV crime installment of Tatort; and the TV show Der Quiz-Champion — they all went green.
The secret of the Hamburg Film Commission’s success is the fruitful, cooperative relationship with the Hamburg Media School (HMS), which has sown the seeds for a green harvest. „It can’t be green enough! The key is organizing various efforts, as well as sponsorships“, remarks Richard Reitinger, Head of HMS. „If participation is optional, then the teams like it, and I’ve even seen hardboiled gaffers munching on locally grown carrots and dip. I didn’t hear them complaining about it!” Moreover, as part of this initiative, the Hamburg Film Commission is organizing crash courses to cross-pollinate students of environmental science with film production. Thanks to the increasing transfer of green know-how, the number of sustainable productions just keeps growing. „We are offering specific workshops for producers, production managers, camera crews, production designers, and catering teams“, says Christiane Dopp. „To provide them with the tools and tricks of the trade of green production.”
Photos: © C. Fenzl/ FFHSH