In Italy, the home of slow food, a growing number of producers is realizing the benefits of green film production. Seeding sustainability has just gotten a boost from a deal that the Italian Film Commissions Association sealed with the energy provider Edison in fall 2015. The Sardinia, Torino-Piemonte, and Trentino regions are “beta testing” Edison’s Green Movie Protocol for an entire year by matching its application to local needs.
“We’re choosing production companies that intend to go green, and we’re going to train them locally”, says Nevina Satta, CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission and Vice President of Italian Film Commissions. Developed in partnership with Edison’s Gianluca Della Campa, the initiative provides training for the crew and it ensures that the first steps of the production are well planned. The Office of Film Commissions monitors green actions throughout the production.
The Sardegna Film Commission has already got green experience under its belt thanks to its Heroes 2020 Project, which supports films that treat sustainability issues and that follow green production guidelines. This fund backed thirteen web series pilots as well as more than twenty short films. “The start-up companies are turning into green production specialists”, emphasizes Nevina Satta, who has locked incentives for TV and Film Green shootings in Sardinia. “Our local heroes are trendsetters. Now, even the festival organizers want Green labels for their events.”
Meanwhile, Trentino is going to offer financial bonuses to producers who go green. “We’re working on incentives”, reports Luca Ferrario from Trentino Film Commission and we’re developing tools, such as lists of green hotels and restaurants, that will help producers work more sustainably.” In Trentino, the Tourism Agency certifies restaurants and hotels with eco-labels provided that they serve locally produced bio-products and use non-toxic materials.
The first movie to be produced sustainably in Trentino is Resina, by writer / director Renzo Carbonera, who received script support from Trentino Film Commission. This is a story about a young musician who assumes the responsibility of conducting a male choir that’s on the verge of extinction.
Some green guidelines are also being implemented in Torino-Piemonte. When Ivano De Matteo was shooting his feature film La vita possibile in fall 2015, the local energy company IREN provided the production with grids in order to avoid the use of generators. “IREN is really cooperative”, emphasizes Enrico De Lotto, who is in charge of production at the Film Commission Torino Piemonte. Eighty-five percent of the company’s total electricity consumption comes from eco-friendly sources. “We’re trying to improve our green performance at headquarters, which also serves as HQ for film productions.”
In addition, Torino Piemonte developed a protocol in partnership with the Municipality of Torino to establish a green network that unifies private and public institutions in the city. “Torino is a great test, one that all European Film Commissions must take: coordinating the issues of traffic; transportation, including bicycle and car sharing; existing buildings, as well as facilitating energy transmission to small spaces”, remarks Nevina Satta.
Sustainable behavior creates the best possible relationship with local communities because it results in their own land being respected, which, in turn, creates the best possible conditions for shooting a film, since we’ve already enlisted their support“, concludes the Sardegna Film Commission’s CEO. „A green protocol is also an excellent opportunity to find new investors, to become competitive with a marketing tool that has not yet been exploited to its full potential.”