Several times a year the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) organizes a special ‘Cinema breakfast’, an informal meeting for cinemas, distributors, festivals, cultural centers and other film organizations where new offers and initiatives are presented. The fifth edition was entirely devoted to sustainability and so Green Film Making was invited by our VAF colleague Tim Wagendorp to travel to a chilly Brussels last December 13th. The meeting started early and yet the venue Cinema Nova was packed with varied group of people from the cultural sector from all over Belgium. Many inspiring examples and initiatives were presented, including the cinema Lewes Depot (UK) founded by Dutchwoman Carmen Slijpen and the eco-strategy of Belgian pop temple Ancienne Belgique. We are pleased to report here on the informative morning with our southern neighbors.
Everyone knows the store at Eye Filmmuseum as the ultimate place for film lovers to shop. But besides that the popular shop, in the top 10 of the world’s best museum shops, has an exclusive collection on offer, shop manager Marjan Vos also innovates with sustainability. She set up a system in which used film banners can be upcycled into unique bags. She developed the bags together with sustainable bag maker Marie-José Hamers, who is now being contacted left and right for new collaborations. Among others cinema company Vue Cinemas joined in. We talked to initiator Marjan, artisan Marie-José and Diederieke van Herwijnen of Vue Cinemas about this wonderful initiative.
Last edition of ADE Green, the Green Film Making team kept their eyes and ears open for new applications from the event world that can also be used on our sets. ADE Green is an annual conference on sustainability during the Amsterdam Dance Event. There were quite some familiar faces such as Tijl Couzij of Lab Vlieland and Paul Schurink of Green Events, who organised the panel on energy for the Municipality of Amsterdam. But especially at the ‘Six Innovation that will change the event industry‘ panel presented by Wilbert van der Kamp of Innofest, several interesting things caught our attention.
The second season of the successful British series Killing Eve was partially shot in the capital last September, including scenes at the Rijksmuseum and the Red Light District. Killing Eve is about a security officer who tracks down a serial killer and is created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, also known for the popular series Fleabag. The lead roles are played by Sarah Oh and Jodie Comer and this season there is a supporting role for Dutch actor Roeland Fernhout. The Dutch part of the production was in the hands of Topkapi Films, who try to run every production as sustainable as possible. No exception here.
Every production faces this question, from the evening news to a period drama: how do you dress the talent in front of the camera in a sustainable way? We researched the state of affairs at various costume departments last year (report in Dutch). And this showed that renting, storing for reuse and buying second-hand made the sector already considerably sustainable. Renting is, of course, a form of reuse. Many special costumes are stored and reused and clothing is bought second-hand or even used from personal wardrobes because of limited budgets. But there obviously are situations where new items are purchased or custom made. Lead actors, for example, often have to wear a tailor-made costume of good quality. In these cases it is still difficult to know whether the entire supply chain of a garment is sustainable. And there is too little knowledge about which fabrics have been manufactured sustainably and which are absolutely not. So we rummaged in the back of the closet again and wondered: is it possible to work more sustainably in the fashion industry? What if you do not have the time to mill around flea markets or second-hand shops and have no space for storage? And which stores offer the most sustainable collections if you have to buy new?
photo above: Martijn van der Vaart Photography
What do the productions Zomer Zonder Mama (Summer Without Mom) and Redbad have in common? Besides that they both shot on location in a protected nature reserve, they also had the same location manager: Willem Doorman. Willem has been trying to introduce sustainable solutions on set for years. For example he often uses electric gators for transport, as can be seen in this video report on Prooi by Dick Maas. Ofcourse a nature reserve requires extra care in terms of environmental impact: Zomer Zonder Mama shot scenes in a shifting sand area in the province of Utrecht and Redbad, among others, in De Alde Feanen National Park in Friesland. A great opportunity to take a closer look again at how our local Dutch productions introduce sustainable measures on location.