The Green Film Making Project, an initiative of Strawberry Earth, is made possible by way of partnerships with many pre-existing, established entities. One of the most reputable is The Netherlands Film Fund. In this latest edition of the Who’s Who in Green Filmmaking Online Series, Doreen Boonekamp, the director of the Netherlands Film Fund, talks the future of the Dutch film industry, green filmmaking, and the taking on of an industry Sustainability Manager: “the best developed sustainable practices, will also hopefully become the easy and obvious choices for productions too.” [photo: Yvonne Witte]

Since 2011, Doreen Boonekamp and the Film Fund, have been working closely alongside the Green Film Making Project to help facilitate a sustainable shift for Dutch film professionals. And, starting in January 2015, film productions that receive financial support from the Film Fund will also have access to their newly appointed Sustainability Manager. The facilitating of a Sustainability Manager by the Netherlands Film Funds, is an integral step towards a greener Dutch film industry.

The Film Industry is Keen, on Going Green

According to Boonekamp, sustainability efforts are truly active among working film professionals. This became clear during the production of the national KORT! programme’s short films in both 2013 and 2014: “The producers of KORT! have been exposed to green filmmaking practice, and are now experimenting with sustainable production innovation. During our collaboration with these filmmakers, it has been repeatedly made clear, that a large part of the film industry is very passionate and enthusiastic about sustainable production. But at the same time, it becomes clear that the producers need to have practical support on-set, in order to follow through with their sustainable goals. It is because of this inherent drive from the producers to ‘go-green’, that the Film Fund wants to respond and assist.”

Enter Practical Support: The On-Set Sustainability Manager

To put their green production support efforts into motion, the Film Fund proposed a two-year pilot project, and held an open call for a Sustainability Manager at the beginning of the summer in 2014. For the pilot, the Film Fund wanted an experienced film professional, who also demonstrated a thorough understanding of practical sustainability, to assist Dutch productions with their green filmmaking efforts.

In summing up the Film Fund’s hopes for this Sustainability Manager, Boonekamp states: “The Sustainability Manager will offer practical support to producers who want to produce their films as sustainably as possible. Primarily, they will do this through the transfer of relevant knowledge and experience to a production’s team and crew members. But, they will also be able to connect productions to more sustainable facilities, eco-conscious companies, and ‘greener’ suppliers of which film projects need plenty.”

It is great news then, that the Film Fund has found their Sustainability Manager, in Els Rientjes ( IDTV, Niehe /Stokvis ). Starting January 1st, Els will work to assist Fund receiving filmmakers as they turn their sustainable production ideas, into realities. In her daily work as Sustainability Manager, Rientjes will also be in close contact with Jo Voet, who is the senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Sustainability Has Not Only Landed, It Is Here To Stay

During their two year 2015-16  pilot project, the Film Fund is confident that a Sustainability Manager’s presence will function to deeply embed effeciency even further into the dominant practices of the film industry. The Fund is also very optimistic that industry-wide access to a Sustainability Manager, is the first step towards ensuring that sustainability becomes a permanent fixture within future production practice. Boonekamp explains that through this channel, “the knowledge that is shared with production teams and crew members, can be integrated into the more dated production methods. Furthermore, it is the realted practical experience gained by production professionals – for example with the greener handling of waste, transport or catering – that they will then take along to their next film projects.”

The Value of Innovation and International Collaboration

Doreen Boonekamp sees sustainability as a natural and important development in the Dutch film industry: “For the Film Fund, keeping up with innovation is always a top priority. Sustainability fits in perfectly with this line of our agenda, and is also increasingly becoming the new norm.”

In addition, the Film Fund views green filmmaking as economically lucrative; sustainability in the long term leads to cost savings. But, green filmmaking is also incredibly lucrative when working with other foreign film industries. According to Boonekamp sustainable production opportunities provide for the entire audiovisual sector, a way to work with foreign parties in an enriched dialogue: “the practical approach we are applying here on the Dutch National scale is interesting not only for us, but also for neighbouring countries. We are expressing an idea and new policies that invite others to have a closer look into how the film industry is becoming more sustainable. And, as a practical leader in green filmmaking, the Dutch film industry is giving off a very positive and cutting-edge image of itself, to the rest of the world. ”

The Future of Green Filmmaking: Best Practices give way to Obvious Choices

As the director of the Film Fund, Boonekamp sees the future of green filmmaking within the Dutch film industry as incredibly optimistic: “Right now, the Dutch film industry is paving the way, making practical moves, and experimenting with sustainable production in the workplace. During this time, production teams and crew members are becoming more and more experienced. And, after our years of facilitating a greener view for the industry, the best developed sustainable practices will also hopefully become the easy and obvious choices for productions too. It is likely that sustainability managers, and individual department sustainability goals, will become a permanent fixture within the production ecology too.”

The Film Fund at the Masterclass  ‘Green Filmmaking – The Future of Producing’, during NFF

On October 2, Doreen Boonekamp spoke at our masterclass ‘Green Filmmaking: The Future of Producing’, on behalf of the Netherlands Film Fund, and during the Netherlands Film Festival 2014. For her speech, she presented Els Rientjes as the first Sustainability Manager supported by the Film Fund, to the Dutch film industry.

[this article was translated from it’s original Dutch version here]

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