Delicious regional fruit, a ban on the use of plastic, and a nearby set. At the Berlinale Competition, the audience can discover several films that have been produced sustainably. During the principal photography of 3 Tage in Quiberon by Emily Atef, the lead actress Marie Bäumer only had to take a few steps to get from her hotel to the set. “We shot more than two-thirds of the film on the principal location”, says Karsten Stöter, producer of this moving drama about three emotionally charged days in the life of film star Romy Schneider.
For this picture, a glass pavilion on the Baltic island of Fehmarn was turned into a hotel where guest rooms, a bathroom, and a lobby were built. Thanks to a 4×10 meter photo backdrop, the view from the balcony overlooked the same sea and rocky beach as did the original location in Quiberon. The Costume and Make-up Departments were located nearby in the hotel where the actors were staying. The short distance from the set to the hotel saved time, money – and was climate-friendly. Shooting 3 Tage in Quiberon required neither generators nor a car pool, so the production qualified for a Green Shooting Card.
A focus on green film production is also on the agenda at several Berlinale industry discussions: the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market, and the Berlinale Audi Lounge. „Our society is changing its perspective by taking greater account of the economics of ecology. The transition to clean energy and the ban on diesel fuel, plastic, and pesticides are already key issues in political discourse“, notes Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, a slow-food connoisseur who is committed to sustainable food production. „That‘s also an issue for the film and media industry, which, in several countries, has already begun adopting best practices.“
The Berlinale Competition features Figlia Mia (Daughter of Mine), a film by Italian director Laura Bispuri that was sustainably produced in Sardinia „We had a democratic set“, elaborates the producer Marta Donzelli. „No trailers or limousines were provided for the actors.“ Alba Rohrwacher and Valeria Golino enjoyed that. „Most of the time, we rented a large house as a location which also housed the production office and the Costume, Hair and Make-up Departments. „We car-pooled and provided the actors with bicycles, so they could move freely in throughout village.“
The Italian producer is also presenting the documentary Lorello e Brunello in the Culinary Cinema section. The film portrays twin brothers who run a small farm in Tuscany which is facing bankruptcy due to the falling price of agricultural products in the global market. Industrial food production and greenwashing methods used to falsely market products as sustainably produced is the theme of the documentary Green Lies by Plastic Planet director Werner Boote. In The Game Changers, U.S. filmmaker Louie Psihoyos interviews elite athletes, soldiers from special operations groups, and scientists on the question of whether meat is a necessary source of protein for our body. „The films we‘re showing have real bite“, says Dieter Kosslick, wryly making his point.
“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.