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Focus on Green Film Shooting : Birgit Heidsiek

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, German initiative Green Film Shooting organized the second edition of a sustainability panel at the Italian Pavilion in the luxurious Hotel Majestic. Co-hosted by the Cine-Regio Green Subgroup, it brought together a group of sustainability front runners from all over the world. A good opportunity for Green Film Making to catch up with Green Film Shooting’s Birgit Heidsiek, and ask her about the results in Cannes and the current situation of sustainable production on her own turf: Germany. Your latest Cannes panel: Sustainability First was the fifth you organized so far (after 3 editions in Berlin and 1 in Cannes). It seems that sustainable production is still on the radar. It is crucial to bring green film production to the attention of the industry at a huge event such as the Cannes Film Festival. We were delighted that the German film In the Fade by Fatih Akin which has been awarded a Green Shooting Card by the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, was presented in competition. We had a good mix of speakers who shared their green expertise such as Christiane Dopp from Hamburg Film Commission, the Film London‘s Adrian Wootton and Pedro Barbadillo who is going to introduce a green program at the Mallorca Film Commission. Italy had a strong presence with Nevina Satta of the Sardegna Film Commission, and Luca Ferrario from the Trentino Film Fund. New York-based producer and PGA Green Founder Lydia Dean Pilcher spoke about her latest green production, the Disney film Queen of Katwe. She explained how EcoSupervisor Emillie O’Brien trained two crew members who became eco supervisors on set...

Focus on albert (UK) – Jeremy Mathieu

Photo by Annie East Jeremy Mathieu, International Manager of albert, the UK’s think-tank on sustainability in film and television, was recently in the Netherlands for a second training at NTR. The Dutch broadcaster has acquired the license for this British initiative to implement as the sustainability standard for their productions. It could be argued that albert, governed by the BAFTA albert Consortium, is the most established and developed program for sustainability in the audiovisual industry in Europe. Jeremy, originally from France but in the UK for over 15 years, divides his time between albert and his other job as sustainability advisor for the BBC. We catch up with him to get more insight in the possibilities of widespread implementation of the program and the context of the UK industry compared to the Dutch. He is clearly very driven and becomes increasingly enthusiastic when speaking about the vision and possibilities of albert. And it’s easy to see why. The UK context The sustainability efforts in the UK audiovisual industry differ from the Netherlands in that it all started within the established TV broadcasting system. In fact the collaborative albert project grew out of a BBC initiative with the development of a carbon calculator back in 2011. Keen to share the application with the rest of the industry the BBC brought it to BAFTA, a pan industry organisation, and now the BAFTA albert Consortium works similarly to Ecoprod in France, joining all major players in the field. All fourteen members of the albert Consortium are putting some money in the pot, which makes it possible to employ two people fulltime and...

Focus on VAFs ‘e-Mission’ – Tim Wagendorp

After our report on our French colleagues at Ecoprod last month, we got curious to look across the border more often to see what our different neighbors are up to. This month: the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and their e-Mission program. We reported on their groundbreaking initiative in the past when it was still in its infancy. These days they are many steps ahead and still with the frontrunners in Europe in terms of sustainability. Since 2013, the e-Mission program encourages all film and media productions supported by VAF to produce sustainably. Starting from pre-production, they are counseled by a sustainability coordinator. The support consists of a sustainability training, workshops and set visits. In order to receive the last 10% installment of a VAF grant, each production must follow this sustainability program and use the carbon calculator. The results are impressive: back in 2013 a Flemish film was emitting an average of 83 tonnes of CO2, but by 2015 this was reduced to 54 tonnes. Cutting Edge On a sunny morning we call with Tim Wagendorp, VAF’s brand new sustainability coordinator. What distinguishes him immediately is that he originally comes from a completely different background. As an agricultural engineer with a specialization in land and forest management, he worked for years as a scientist at the University of Leuven. Through a craving for work with a greater concrete social impact, he switched to KOMOSIE, an umbrella organization for environmental companies in the social economy (including second hand shops, energy reducers and companies that work with food waste). Among other things, Tim worked on circular economy policy and was responsible...

New green missions in France: Waste, Post-production and eco-bonus in funding

After our first profile in 2013 on French partner in green production Ecoprod, we are catching up with them at the beginning of the year to see what they have on the agenda. Green Film Making spoke with Joanna Gallardo, the new director of the Ile De France Film commission as well as the international delegate for Ecoprod. Already 8 years in existence, the consortium is comprised of several stakeholders who all contribute to the Ecoprod initiative equally through sharing tasks as well as financially. They are an impressive list of high profile organizations: France Télévisions (the leading French public broadcasting group), the number 1 commercial channel TF1, CNC (National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image), ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management agency), Audiens (social protection group for the cultural sector), Île de France Film Commission, and Le Pôle Media Grand Paris (hub for the audiovisual and film industry in the Paris region). Like Thekla Reuten in The Netherlands, Ecoprod has just attracted famous actress Audrey Dana to be the ambassador of green filmmaking for France. Charter At the Ile de France Film Commission headquarters, which doubles as the Ecoprod HQ, around the corner from the Paris Opera, Joanna explains that the complete team consists of 10 people who are all dedicating part of their time whilst employed by one of the consortium members. All members are engaged to attract new partners to Ecoprod through their respective vast networks. Prospective partners are asked to sign the Ecoprod charter and thus commit to the sustainable goals set within it. Becoming a member means getting access to the different trainings...

Chai Locher & Wiendelt Hooijer (The Netherlands)

Chai Locher and Wiendelt Hooijer have been on board with The Green Film Making Project from the very beginning in 2011. Since the start of the project Chai has been connected as Project Manager to manage the team while maintaining contact with project partners and industry professionals. Wiendelt has been serving as Project Leader, focusing on financial management, practical implementation, website maintenance, as well as providing technical support for events.  These two fine gentlemen are the subject of this latest installment of the ‘Who’s Who in Green Filmmaking Online Series’. Here, they reflect on their experiences with green filmmaking over the past three years, in order to explain where the future of the Dutch film industry lies. [photo: Anne-Claire Breij] How did they get started out in green filmmaking? Prior to the project, Chai and Wiendelt both had years of accumulated experience in the film and audiovisual production industries. They also both came from families that paid close attention to sustainability, while holding great value for the natural world. But what was it exactly that led them to draw connections between their sustainability influences, and film production? Wiendelt explains: “I started this project because I felt a need for some new and inspiring energy in my own life. And the people who were initially involved in creating the idea for this project had some great and fresh insights as to how film could be organized. To this, I was able to contribute my knowledge, and attention to the creative processes behind the industry”. Chai adds, “I realized pretty early on, that every industry would have to make the transition...

Els Rientjes, Sustainability Manager to the Dutch Film Industry

As of Jan. 1st 2015, Els Rientjes will be in full force as the first official Sustainability Manager for the Dutch film industry. Rientjes is committed to making the Dutch film industry more sustainable, and also has years of experience within the Dutch Television and Film Industry to draw from; as a Creative Producer at IDTV, Manager of TV Productions at Niehe/Stokvis, and most recently, as Creative Producer at Fu Works. Rientjes is looking forward to taking on sustainability within her new role: “I want to use my passion and knowledge of Film and Television, in order to make the sustainable innovation more accessible to film producers.” And the industry, is very lucky to have her. [photo: Michael Vervuurt] As a result of this project, Dutch film professionals have grown to see the importance and benefit of sustainable film production – green filmmaking has truly ‘landed’ within the industry. Moving forward into 2015 however, the Green Film Making Project will continue forth in a new form. As of Jan. 1st 2015, the Netherlands Film Fund (one of the partners of the Green Film Making Project) will be facilitating the first official Sustainability Manager for the Dutch film industry: Els Rientjes. Rientjes will develop and support a structural framework, through which the whole of the industry can produce more sustainably. In the coming years, she is committed to continuing the work that was started by the Green Film Making Project. Her years of applicable experience as both a producer of films and television programs, will most certainly guide her towards success in this new position. Rientjes, who was presented to the...