Sustainability from scratch

With the Green Film Making Project, the Dutch foundation Strawberry Earth aims to encourage filmmakers to produce their films sustainably. Producers can practice and participate in a green short film competition, workshops, and sessions with international industry experts.

The  Green Film Making Project kicked off its 2012 short film competition with an open call to the Dutch film industry. „We invited producers to create a short film and produce it as sustainable as possible“, says Chai Locher, Project Leader at Green Film Making Project. Their efforts were monitored by a panel of film and sustainability professionals which was chaired by Dutch actress Thekla Reuten, Green Film Making Project‘s ambassador-at-large.

“Over a period of six months, we are giving producers the chance to workshop with experts from the UK, Hollywood, and entrepreneurs from other businesses who are already working sustainably“, highlights Locher. „We coach the producers and follow the production process.” One of these green early birds was Dutch filmmaker Trent, whose production Being Alive earned him the title „Green Filmmaker of the Year 2012“.

Trent, also member of the Jury in the 2013 Competition, produced Cornea, a psychological drama directed by Jochem de Vries. Cornea is a German-Dutch co-production between Riva Film and NFI Productions. Developed with the financial support of the Netherlands Film Fund, it also received production financing from the NFF and the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein. Both organizations support green filmmaking.

„The transition towards greater sustainability demands a different approach to the whole production process“, points out Locher. „You need to think of this issue very early.“ Many films complete their financing right before principal photography starts. „That means the whole production is immediately under a great deal of pressure. This is not an environment in which you can make sustainable choices“, concludes Locher, who points out that every producer has been trained on the job in the same rigorous. „The big challenge is how this process can be redesigned.”