The increasing awareness for topics such as ecology, climate change, energy transition and food revolution has given a big boost to the 11th edition of the Deauville Green Awards. “We are very happy that so many people came to Deauville to see films about sustainability”, says Francois Morgant, President of the Deauville Green Awards. “When we founded this festival eleven years ago, ecology was not such a popular theme as it is today”, underlines Georges Pessis, Vice-President of the Deauville Green Awards. In total, 530 films from all across the world were submitted for the documentary, spot and info competitions . “We have a jury of 50 people who are separated in three competitions.”
The Grand Prize for the best documentary was awarded to the Australian film Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography. Produced by Lucy Maclaren, Niobe Thompson, Sonya Pemberton, the two hours long documentary gives an insight in the complex coherencies between carbon and climate change. “People think we have a carbon problem”, the astrophysics Neil deGrasse Tyson points out. “Don’t blame carbon, it is not carbon’s fault.”
Indeed, all of our food that we eat, the clothes that we wear and more than 90 percent that we see is carbon. It is in fabrics, wood, in all plastics and in our bodies. “Every cell in our body is loaded with carbon. It is part of our lives”, emphasizes the astrophysicist. In Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography, an outstanding documentary in terms of story and visual style, scientists explain why fossil fuels need to stay in the ground.
Philippe Fortin, Director Contents & Development at French production house Grand Angle Corporate, presented the film Tierrre de Liens about the same-named initiative in France which supports organic farming. Due to real estate speculations, about 700 hectar of agricultural and untouched areas are sealed with concrete each week in France. The Tierre de Liens foundation supports projects that cultivate eco-friendly agriculture and protect the land on a longterm basis.
Preservation of the biodiversity, agriculture and sustainable resources such as soils, seas and forests as well as sustainable production are themes of the categories for the three Deauville Green Awards competition for spots, documentaries and image films. A transition in food production and agriculture also requires new solutions. Vincent Doumeizel, Senior Advisor on Oceans & Food to the UN Global Compact, suggests the consumption of seaweed. “Seaweed can be used for the emerging population and is helpful for our climate”, says the seaweed specialist.“The new food that we are going to have touches everybody”, says Georges Pessis, “because we all have to eat.”
In the Info competition which presents films by NGOs and institutions with a length up to 26 minutes, the Grand Prize went to the WWF Deutschland production Love by Anne Thomas. “Love is a parable about the relationships of humans to the forest”, says Susanne Winter, who is in charge of forest at WWF Deutschland. “It is a story about a tree who develops a deep relationship to a boy.”
A citizens’ movement is the UNESCO Green Citizens project which won the Trophée Or for the same-name info film in the category on humanitarian action and solidarity. A wake-up call for social justice is the spot The Unknown Heroes by Stéphane Barbato, which won the Grand Prize in the Spot competition. The spot is made was for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “In a perfect world, war surgeons risking their lives to help victims should be as famous as footballers”, says Stéphane Barbato.
The French impact producer Magali Payen has the goal to change the world through imaginings and stories. “I want to show how the world could be in the best way and at he same time respect the planetary boundaries and the social justice”, emphazises Magali Payen, Founder of the movement On est pret which is mobilizing citizens.
“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.