Whether it’s Toni Sevillo holding a discussion with a prisoner in Dall’ Interno (From the Inside) or Elyas M’Barek struggling through a crisis with his girlfriend in What We Wanted or an octopus resting on a rock in Mission Mare, shooting in Sardinia always follows sustainable regulations. “Producers understand the need for our green protocols in Sardinia’s unique locations and they see them as a chance to explore new possibilities”, says Nevina Satta, CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission.
Productions prefer the green island because of its alluring locations and its locally sourced goods. Italian producer Carlo Cresto-Dina discovered the perfect location in a former prison in Sassari for his feature film Dall’ Interno, for which director Leonardo di Costanzo was ableto get Italian stars Toni Sevillo and Silvio Orlando on board. During principal photography, which took place exclusively in Sardinia, the production strictly upheld the environmental standards. With the EcoMuvi label, the Tempesta production company even developed its own certification standards for audiovisual productions: “Our protocol saves money”, stresses Cresto-Dina “and it activates a virtuous circle on set with new sustainable practices.”
“The most important areas for implementing green production criteria are transport and crew accommodations, along with energy savings, catering, and choice of materials”, emphasizes producer Giovanni Pompeli, who sees the integration of the various parties that participate in the production and delivery chain as the biggest challenge. “Measures vary with each project but the attitude of facing production challenges with sustainable approaches must remain constant.”
Pompeli worked as line producer for the Netflix production of the relationship drama What We Wanted, which is Austria’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 93rd Academy Awards. The entire feature film was shot at the luxury resort of Capo Boi in the south of Sardinia. “We eliminated travel because the entire crew ate and slept in the same hotel, which served as our accommodations as well as our location.”
When shooting the arthouse film Dry Land by Polish filmmaker Aga Woszczynska,
which Pompeli co-produced with his company Kino Produzione, he followed the same principle of scheduling almost all the scenes in a single location. “Our hotel, where the crew was being accommodated, was only a kilometer away from the film set, so we could get there by either walking or bicycling”, says the producer, who managed to provide the production with electric power from the grid. “The biggest challenge of green shooting is not to adopt virtue-signaling behavior but to inspire others to do the same.”
With the partly live action, partly animated short film Mission Mare that was produced for the Italian broadcaster RAI, Federico Fiecconi wants to raise children’s awareness about the consequences of plastic pollution on ocean flora and fauna. The Sardegna Film Commission enabled shooting in a conservation area in Cala Gonone, where the crew shot only with available light.
“The idea for this project occurred during location scouting in Sardinia”, explains Satta, who trained local line producers in COVID-19 safety protocols along with the green guidelines. “This is an opportunity to show and reinforce the natural ties between eco-sustainability and on-set security: the professionals as well as the community in our motherland need to be protected as vital bases for our industry.”
Photos: © Filmladen, Gianni Fiorito/Tempesta, Giulia Camba, H2O Team, GFS