Thanks to the comprehensive Evergreen Prisma information service which imparts green know-how in training workshops for members of the film and media industry, the Lower Austrian Film Commission (LAFC) has made green film production respectable throughout Austria. Meanwhile, about seventy filmmakers have been certified as green consultants, among them creatives working in post-production and animation, as well as staff members from Austrian film institutions. Environmental and climate protection also play a part in the new incentive system for film productions that the Austrian government has designed to strengthen its position as a player in the European competition between countries to attract film production.
In January 2023 the new incentive model for film production came into effect in Austria. International productions, national feature films, TV and streaming productions are supported based on a catalogue of criteria, with a non-repayable grant of up to 30 percent of the production costs spent in Austria. In addition to that, a green bonus worth of five percent is awarded to productions that comply with environmentally friendly measures. The controlling and processing of the new green funding program, called ÖFI+, is administrated by the Austrian Film Institute.
“One of the preconditions for the green bonus is the early involvement of professional green film consultants”, says LAFC Film Commissioner Dietlind Rott. “The requirements include comprehensive concepts implemented according to the catalogue of criteria, valid carbon calculations as well as final reports that will be further evaluated.”
Already qualified as a sustainable production, the crime drama Vier by Marie Kreutzer was filmed largely in Lower Austria. It received the Austrian eco label UZ 76. The implementation of environmentally friendly measures by the production was put into action by Barbara Weingartner, who was certified as green film consultant through the LAFC training workshops.
During the shooting of Vier, connections to the grid were established at several locations in order to limit the use of generators. The Vier production also took eco-friendly mobility into consideration. The team used public transportation, rented low-emission vehicles, and carpooled. Vier greatly reduced carbon emissions because the crew was accommodated in a village that also served as the main filming location. The eco-friendly measures paid off. In total, the Vier production reduced carbon emissions by more than 35 tons as measured by LAFC’s carbon calculator.
Also partly filmed in Lower Austria is Marie Kreutzer’s award-winning feature film and Austrian Academy Award entry Corsage, which was produced as an international co-production with Luxembourg, Germany, and France. The question how co-productions can be produced in a more sustainable manner is an issue that is being discussed in the Green Co/Pro Europe working group. “Our main concern”, emphasizes Dietlind Rott, “is to shape, complete and, if at all possible, reduce the indispensable processes for green film production in international co productions through collaboration.”
Photos: © Julia Dragosits /Film AG, Gregor Lechner