On the occasion of the 74th Cannes film festival, Ecoprod and Green Film Shooting hosted the roundtable discussion New innovations for green production, where experts gave an insight in technogical topics as well in best practices and requirements for productions. The session "Are new technologies always more sustainable?" brought together Arnaud Borges, partner of Studio Provence, which is located in the south of France, Benoît Ruiz, environmental and innovation analyst for the CNC and co-founder of the tech company Workflowers with gaffer, engineer Niels Maier who is the CEO of German rental house Maier Bros and Italian producer Giovanni Pompeli who has green production experience with his company Kino produzioni.
Using renewables and generating electric power with photovoltaic panels on the roof is a best practice that studios such as the Provence Studios as well as companies like Maier Bros. are already practicing. Sustainability has to work ecologically as well as economically but often it is not so easy to figure out what is the best solution. For example, LED lights are not in any case more efficient because it depends on the specific use case.
As a recent state-of-the-art technology, virtual production is on the rise. In terms of sustainability it depends on each film project if it is more energy-efficient, for example, to avoid travelling for cast and crews to overseas or if the energy use for all the data storage generates a bigger carbon footprint.
Regardless if the carbon footprint of energy, mobility or material use needs to be measured, it is crucial to take a holistic approach and look at the entire production and distribution chain from cradle to grave.
This leads to the question "What is (really) a green film?". This topic was discussed by Ecoprod Coordinator Alissa Aubenque, French filmmaker Cyril Dion, who presented his new documentary Animal, in the Cinema for Climate program in Cannes. Katharina Retzlaff, Advisor to CEO of the German Federal Film Board spoke about the new requirements that film be implemented in the Federal Film Law in Germany, starting in January 2022 for film production. Nevina Satta, CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission, already introduced green filmmaking in Italy in 2015 and implemented extra points for sustainable actions to the guidelines.
But even if filmmakers want to go green, they often are faced with problems due to the existing infrastructure or system. The implementation of circular economy in all different branches is crucial so that also film productions can save resources as well as sometimes also budgets.