Hosting the first green-produced Italian TV series, sustainably produced music videos as well as a green cinema, Sardinia is becoming a mecca for environmentally friendly Film/TV productions. “We moved from the radical uncertainty of Project HEROES 2020 to broader national and international partnerships with the audiovisual industry and film business”, says Nevina Satta, CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission (SFC).
The Project HEROES 2020 program provides financial support to feature films, TV productions, and shorts that implement the Sardinia Green Film Shooting Protocol on the island. The initiative has already borne fruit. Mommotty Production, which produced four short films under the aegis of Pro ject HEROES 2020, is now serving as the line producer for video clips by Placebo and other popular bands. This British band shot its music video for Jesus’ Son, the lead single featured on its twenty-year retrospective album, on the stunning beaches of Sardinia.
“Placebo loved the idea of advocating sustainability”, says Satta who suggests that any band that wants to shoot a music video in Sardinia should go green. “We have to turn pop stars into advocates of sustainable shooting. These clips enjoy high visibility when they’re broadcast on MTV and other music channels. The best way to reach the new generation is by getting their attention with pop stars who are advocating sustainability.”
In addition to HEROES 2020, established Italian production companies are also going green. The successful TV production company Lux Vide, which achieved worldwide acclaim with the sale of its Bible Series to 140 countries, shot Doctor Pietro in Sardinia, which was the first sustainably produced Italian TV series. “They also became advocates of green protocols in the Italian TV industry”, adds Satta. “The advertising campaign for the TV series features as part of its marketing strategy the greening of the set as well as adopting financially and ecologically sustainable production.” Among the upcoming feature films that will implement the Sardinia Green Film Shooting Protocol is one by Laura Bispuri, Director of the award-winning film Sword Virgin.
Now in 2017, sustainability in Sardinia also includes cinemas. An old art house theater in the city center of Sassari, the second largest city in Sardinia, is becoming the first green movie theatre on the island. Located in a restored landmark building, the newly converted quad theater will be powered by renewables. The restauration of the cinema is being done in partnership with a local energy company, which is also installing a charging station for electric cars in the parking lot.
“This opens a completely new chapter in the greening of the industry”, says Satta. “We’re working closely with the regional departments of environmental regulatory and tourism agencies to have our green protocol adopted by all film and media companies in the region.” Furthermore, the FSC plans to develop together with young illustrators an App for the children’s program Mia and Pepe, which provides training for young eco filmmakers. “We want to give the kids a shot at international visibility – and even getting the attention of broadcasters.
“The time for half-measures and climate denial is over. Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels, we’re going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations. If we’re going to avoid the worst of the impacts, then we’ve just got to act boldly. And we must act immediately."
Actor, Director, Producer, Environmentalist
"The media has a powerful role to play in the fight against climate change. Through films, television, and all media outlets, we must continue to deliver the message that solutions are out there and are happening now. We have to make it attractive for people to take action. Movies like Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and documentaries like Years of Living Dangerously, which I was proud to be a part of, have been very popular, reaching and inspiring millions of people. And I believe films in particular can really inspire and make people want to take action. It’s great to see some of my film-industry friends working with climate related organizations to push forward those messages."
„It‘s high time to reorganize film production in Germany in a ‚greener‘ and more sustainable way. So far, I am flabbergasted by how much our industry works in environmentally harmful ways.To this very day, it starts with until today one-sided print-outs of scripts, and then it continues with plastic bottles in production offices and lots of plastic waste with every catered meal, and it doesn‘t stop with the limousines that pull up to a red carpet.
For many years, people have sneered at me when I brought my own cup or I declined to eat cheap meat served on paper or plastic plates with plastic knives and forks. It would be great if the Green Shooting Card could change all that.“
Director (Ben X, Time of My Life)
„It’s absolutely great that filmmakers all over the world are trying to clean up their act, and are trying to film as sustainable as we possibly can. Still, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the incredible power of the moving image to also change the hearts and minds of people.
So, apart from trying to be more environmentally aware in our business, I think the big gain lies in how we might make everyone more environmentally aware. Yes, cinema can change the world.
I think filmmakers should start using the powerful weapon in our hands that is the camera.
Let’s not only try to do ‘less bad’. Let’s try to do right, and help drive the change that we all know needs to arrive.“
“We are living in a time in which we can’t afford to behave irresponsibly towards nature. The more important is it that film productions try to work as environmentally friendly as possible. A film team produces every day tons of garbage. I try to avoid using plastic cups on set, I bring my own cup, use ecofriendly cosmetics and avoid needless single rides.”
Photo ® Maddalena Arosio
Darren Aronofsky, Director, Noah / Jury President, 65th Berlin International Film Festival
“When we did Noah we knew we were making a film about the first steward of the earth, so we wanted to be good stewards ourselves. There’s so much waste on film sets. Because of groups like Earth Angel, we were able to change that a little bit.”
"As a TV and film producer I try to incorporate environmental storylines into my projects as much as possible. But it’s just as important, if not more, to ‚go green‘ behind the scenes! Therefore, I help run the Producers Guild of America’s Green Initiative.
We provide resources such as a Best Practices and a Carbon Calculator to help producers green their productions. We also partnered with all the major studios to create www.greenproductionguide.com which is a free green vendor database with over 2,000 vendors offering sustainable production solutions worldwide!"
Producer, Director and Visual Effects Supervisor (2001: A Space Odysee, Blade Runner)
"Trumbull Studios in Massachusetts is dedicated to being green as much as possible, including the use of LED lighting, solar power, and solar laptops. This is not just because our location has limited amperage and no three-phase, we believe we have a responsibility to our community and our planet to be a clean industry.
We are planning for digital photography in 3D 4K at 120 frames per second from remote and inaccessible locations that will not have available power. Solar is the way to go."
Dieter Kosslick, Director Berlin International Film Festival
„The Berlinale is already actively addressing the sustainability subject since years. We appreciate it very much that a growing number of filmmakers, among them this year‘s jury presiden Darren Aranofsky, is following green guidelines on set.“
Director of Photography (A Most Wanted Man)
‘I never have been told precisely what the rules are for shooting a green movie, but we are trying to do it. This is something new for me. Sometimes people overlight scenes at night. I don’t. If I can see with my own eyes, then it is enough for the film. In that sense I am a green DoP.’
Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons who stars in the Berlinale Competition entry The Night Train To Lisbon is a fan of source segregated recycling. „Especially in Germany you have done a lot for that. You are examplary in the matter of waste separation.“
The Hollywood actor travelled around the world to promote the environmntal documentary feature film Trashed by Candida Brady which deals with the global garbage problem: „We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it“, says Brady. „With Jeremy Irons as our guide, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year.“
Since the world premiere at the International Cannes Film Festival in 2012 Trashed picked up various nominations and awards at international festivals.