Green Cinema in Venice

For the first time, La Biennale di Venezia is going to measure and monitor its carbon footprint. Following the eco-friendly actions of the Berlinale and this year’s efforts at the Cannes film festival, a carbon management plan has been applied for the first time at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, and will be extended to the future editions of all of La Biennale’s activities and events. The first step that is taken towards carbon neutrality is to measure the totality of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the life cycle of the event, and then to offset them directly or indirectly.


The festival will adapt the PAS2060 standard for carbon neutrality, which provides a framework for accuracy and certification. Published by the British Standards Institution, the standard provides guidance on how to quantify, reduce and offset GHG emissions. 
To give a credible foundation to this commitment, the project will be monitored by the independent and external body RINA, which will certify the achievement of the final goal. A long term goal for the future editions of the Venice Film Festival and the activities of La Biennale di Venezia is to take actions that will lead to a substantial reduction of emissions, which will also involve the public.  

One of the first actions which were taken at the 78th Mostra Internazionale D’Arte Cinematografica that trees were planted for various famous directors, which attended the Venice Film Festival in the past decades. Initiated by the Green Cross with the support of Venetien Carbinieri, about fifty trees are planted on a former military area in Venice. Italian actress Ottavia Piccolo joined the “Bosco per il cinema” delegation, which went by a colorful boat, which was powered with renewables, to the island. Among them was American writer John Woods who presented his eco thriller bookLady Chevy in Venice, which has also been adapted for the screen.  

Green Cinema is not limited to the content on the screen. The efficient use of energy and renewables can radically cut the operation costs of cinemas, as Birgit Heidsiek, FFA Green Cinema Consultant, pointed out at the panel discussion on Sustainable Screens. According to the national Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (A.N.E.C.), in Italy about sixty percent of the energy use of the cinemas is consumed by cooling and air condition.  

Nevina Satta, CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission, is suggesting that a holistic ecosystem should become obligatory in the public as well as in the private sectors. A key role plays green public procurement, which can act as a game changer. Since the Sardegna Film Commission introduced green film production initiatives in Italy in 2015, various Italian Film Commissions followed these best practices and approaches. Among them is the Trentino Film Commission, whose Green Film System’s criteria are also adopted by the regions Emilia-Romagna and Veneto.  

Nevertheless, Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Frammartino who gained international recognition for his silent masterpiece Le quattro volte, returned to Calabria, where the mayor of the village had taken him on a tour of the Pollino. With a bottom of 700 meters below Earth, the Bifurto Abyss is Europe’s deepest cave. In his Venice competition film Il buco he chronicles a visit through unknown depths of life and nature and parallels two great voyages to the interior. This nearly wordless work won him the Special Jury Prize as well as the Green Drop Award 2021.  

Photos:©  GFS, Essential Filmproduktion

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