With the Green Shooting Card, the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH) introduced ecological thinking into the film industry dynamic, and now it‘s getting increasing feedback from parties far beyond the city of Hamburg. The green label is an incentive for creatives to act more eco-consciously in the production of features film, TV movies and series, animated films, and documentaries.
The most famous production to have received a Green Shooting Card for undertaking sustainable measures that included helpful daily environmental suggestions, digital distribution of call sheets, catering with regional products as well as the reduction of plastic waste, is the award-winning thriller Into the Fade by Fatih Akin. After Hollywood star Diane Krüger won the Best Actress award in Cannes and the film was named a contender for the Academy Awards©, Into the Fade won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Another recipient of the Green Shooting Card is 3 Tage in Quiberon, Emily Atef‘s stirring drama about the film icon Romy Schneider, which celebrates its world premiere at the Berlinale Competition.
„Hamburg is one of the most important centers of film production in Germany; nationwide, it’s the reigning champion of green film production“, stresses Jens Kerstan, the City of Hamburg‘s Environment and Energy Minister. „We‘d like to initiate a joint effort with the film fund so green production continues to grow. We‘re conducting exploratory meetings now because we need to discuss the issue and develop new models.“
Inspired by the pioneering efforts in Hamburg, nearly all the national and regional film funds have put green production on their agenda. Shortly after the ‚Constitution of Climate Protection‘ was drafted at the United Nations Climate Chance Conference held in Bonn in November 2017, the German film funding institutions agreed on a joint declaration that costs resulting from environmentally-friendly actions on film shoots may be included in the final production costs. If a project is greenlighted, then these added expenses will be recognized ― to the extent they are in accordance with the guidelines ― and will be partially reimbursed.
The use of more environmentally compatible equipment is being undertaken by service providers in a formal review process. The Association of German Service Providers for the Audiovisual Industry (VTFF) is planning, together with producers, to test more environmentally-friendly techniques as well as to explore opportunities to finance and obtain funding for these outlays. „From new generators and LED lighting to natural gas-powered trucks, this equipment can‘t be financed solely by the service providers“, says Achim Rohnke, Chairman of the VFTT. „Based on the know-how that we’ve acquired, we now want to develop a common strategy in the industry..“
Meanwhile, the Environment Minister is searching for ways to strengthen the Green Shooting Card so that it may act as an incentive model for environmentally-friendly production throughout the film and media industry. „I’m looking forward to striking new paths”, said Kerstan, summing up his ideas, „to establish this vast project not simply in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, but to take it a step further in order to develop a green film industry.“
Photos: © Tobias Begunde/Skalar Film, Peter Hartwig/Rohfilm Factory, Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt