sustainABILITY: New Green Skills, Tools and Models for Industry-Wide Transformation in Film at EFM Horizon 2020

sustainABILITY: New Green Skills, Tools and Models for Industry-Wide Transformation in Film at EFM Horizon 2020

sustainABILITY: New Green Skills, Tools and Models for Industry-Wide Transformation in Film at EFM Horizon 2020

We were proud to co-curate and moderate an inspiring session at EFM Horizon on the future of sustainability in film! Key insights from the program can be found in the EFM Horizon Wrap-Up report, featured below or in full here.

Call to Consciousness

“If you’re conscious, you’re responsible”

With alarming recent studies out of the UK showing that one hour of TV production creates the equivalent of 13.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions – enough energy to keep three homes running for a year – it’s clear our industry needs a wakeup call. This was the focus of Saturday’s continued conversation around sustainability in the creative industries, where the need for climate consciousness and self-responsibility was highlighted as the first step in an important process toward helping save our planet, even if bit by bit.

Among issues debated were how to make festivals greener and the awareness needed around the often invisible environmental impact of streaming distribution platforms, which generated over 100 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2018 alone. It was also strongly suggested and applauded that if festivals and organizations aren’t adhering to practical and common regulations around CO2 emissions, they simply shouldn’t receive public funding.

But consciousness comes first; truly understanding the impact of our own actions. This is what led EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol to develop EFM’s 2020 Sustainability Manifesto, after being made aware by his staff how the physical waste created from each market troubled many. This made Knol begin thinking more practically about what the market can do to reduce waste, like sharing with other organizations resources that – physical and other – the market doesn’t use the other 11 months of the year when it’s not Berlinale. “If we don’t care, we cut ourselves off from the thing that makes us human, human connection,” added Jacob Sylvester Bilabel, founder of the Green Music Initiative.

Full Program

Call to Action: Social-ecological transformation in the creative economy. 

Shared experiences of art and storytelling can be powerful, helping win hearts and minds in the fight for social and ecological justice. But can culture and entertainment really play a leading role in sustainable transformation while creative industries fail to minimize their own environmental impact? To make real change happen and reject the business-as-usual approach, the creative economy may need to radically rethink its models, ethos and definitions of success. 

Jacob Sylvester Bilabel is founder of the pan-European Green Music Initiative (GMI), an independent cross industry think-tank to inspire people in the music festival and events industry to run their operations greener and smarter. Jacob is also a board member of the Berlin’s Chamber of Commerce for Creative Industries, a member of the German Technical mirror committee for the new ISO 20121 standard for Sustainability in Event Management, and a founding member of the ReDesign Deutschland initiative. In 2016, he was appointed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as an expert for innovation processes in the creative sector, and in 2017 became an ambassador for the European Take A Stand network, promoting cultural values to young Europeans, and was previously VP of Corporate Communications and New Business at Universal Music Germany.

Rolling out the Green Carpet? Redesigning the film festival for sustainability. Panel with Jacob Bilabel, Founder Green Music Initiative, Matthijs Wouter Knol, Director European Film Market,  Korina Gutsche, Sustainability Consultant and Founder Bluechild

There’s no better place to start confronting the entertainment industry’s environmental impact than the film festival, with its wasteful water bottles and printed catalogues, not to mention the staggering amounts of CO2 emitted through air travel. Creating sustainable events for the entertainment industry is not impossible and a number of festivals are already leading the way. But it does mean tackling complex management tasks and asking difficult questions. This panel will discuss core challenges that festival and event managers face, as well as potential solutions that could be achieved through inter- and cross-industry cooperation, from adopting the ISO 20121 standard, to designing a more efficient festival circuit across Europe, to learning from the music industry’s sustainable festival pioneers. 

Matthijs Wouter Knol has been director of the European Film Market since June 2014. He worked as a freelance journalist and producer in the Netherlands before joining the Berlinale in 2008 as head of programme at Berlinale Talents, the festival’s training and summit programme for emerging film professionals. After 6 years, he moved on to the market side of the festival, reshaping EFM and adapting it to the quickly changing film industry’s needs by adding platforms like EFM Horizon, the Berlinale Series Market, EFM Landmark, or EFM Producers Hub. Developing the market into a sustainable event on all levels, the announcement of EFM’s Sustainability Manifesto last month kickstarted a series of goals the market has committed itself to for the upcoming editions.

Korina Gutsche is a consultant, production manager and educator for sustainability in film. She has been driving force the last seven years in Germany to raise the profile of climate protection and environmental issues in the film business. Her clients include Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, MFG Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg, Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Landeshauptstadt Potsdam, the Produzentenallianz among other leading institutions. Korina has a long history in sustainability, as a founding member of the Green Party in former East Germany, and over 30 years of experience as an environmental engineer, a project manager for environmental impact assessment, a social entrepreneur and activist for peace, biodiversity and marine conservation.

From Carbon Calculators to Eco-Storytelling: Evolving tools and holistic frameworks for sustainable film production. Keynote with Roser Canela-Mas, Industry Sustainability Manager, BAFTA 

Sustainable production has long been at the forefront of the entertainment industry’s push for green transformation. Today, there is a proliferation of resources for sustainable production, from handbooks and vendor guides, to carbon calculators and green energy supply on set, to certification, industry awards and CSR frameworks. But these measures may not be enough. An ambitious approach to sustainable production will require ongoing innovation, potentially expanding its scope to educational and editorial capacities. Against this backdrop, this keynote will shed light on tools, strategies and initiatives currently being developed by Albert, the BAFTA-lead industry consortium for sustainability in entertainment. 

Roser Canela-Mas is Sustainability Industry Manager at BAFTA, where she manages the albert tools both in the UK and internationally. Roser is the main adviser to productions working to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact overall. Her role also consists on delivering training courses to media professionals in order to give the industry the relevant knowledge on climate change and present the main impacts and also opportunities for TV and film makers. Her educational and advisory work also focuses on the editorial site of productions, to enable the industry to tell accessible, realistic, urgent, solutions-based and optimistic climate stories. Prior to her role at BAFTA, Roser worked in production and direction internationally across different genres such as drama, comedy and factual-entertainment, and studied sustainability and environmental management.

Your Netflix Addiction vs. The Planet: Tackling the hidden environmental impact of streaming platforms with digital sobriety. Keynote with Xavier Verne, The Shift Project

We often assume digital innovation goes hand-in-hand with efficiency. But when it comes to audiovisual distribution, this is far from the case. Driven by an addictive user experience designed to keep you binge-watching, video streaming is incredibly data and energy intensive. Greenhouse gas emissions of VOD platforms currently rival the national emissions of Chile, last year’s host of COP25. In this keynote, the researcher behind a bombshell report on the unsustainable use of online video that made headlines around the world will explain why streaming is so energy intensive and what we can do to change this at the individual, industry and policy level. 

Xavier Verne is a leading member of think tank The Shift Project’s Lean ICT working group. He co-authored the Shift Project’s report “Lean ICT – Towards a digital sobriety”, and is currently developing their next major report, “Deploying Digital Sobriety”. An engineer specialized in IT, Xavier is a graduate of the École supérieur des Télécommunications in Paris and of the École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is a seasoned IT project director in a large French transport group.

A Greener Creative Ecosystem on the Blockchain? Decentralized, transparent and trustless solutions for sustainable film financing, production and distribution. Fireside Chat with Dr. Patrice Poujol, Founder and CEO of the Lumiere Project and Former ACIM Lab Senior Research Fellow, City University of Hong Kong.

Blockchain interventions in the film world often seek to create ‘sustainability’ as part of their mission—that is, financial or cultural sustainability, not in sustainability in the environmental sense. At the same time, researchers and policymakers are currently investigating the potential of blockchain as a key tool for climate mitigation, as a technology that creates transparency, incentivizes positive behaviour and holds individuals and organizations to account. How can we bring an ecological dimension to blockchain in the entertainment industry? Which use cases stand out as particularly promising? And what about the environmental impact of blockchain itself? In discussion with a blockchain and entertainment technology expert, this fireside chat will explore these questions and possible intersections between blockchain and sustainable film, from financing and incentivising green film projects, to monitoring and verifying compliance to their sustainability commitments, to improving overall eco-efficiency through decentralized energy and data processing systems.

Dr. Patrice Poujol is an EnTech research expert and a film practitioner. He has previously worked in the financial sector, in movie finance, and as a creative producer in the film industry. In 2018, he obtained the first PhD worldwide on the integration of blockchain technology in Creative Media with CityU Hong Kong through an academic exchange with UCLA and a technological programme organised by MIT. Patrice is a member of the Hong Kong Internet Governance Forum (HKIGF). His book “Online Film Production in China Using Blockchain and Smart Contracts” was published by Springer in March 2019. Patrice is the founder and CEO of Lumière (芦明) which has exclusively partnered with Finfabrik since 2019 to create a series of film finance tools aimed to facilitate access to film funding for independent producers. In parallel, the aim of this partnership is to reduce investment risks for film financiers. Papicha, their first tokenised film, was selected by the Cannes film festival and it is Algeria’s nomination for Best International Feature Film for the Oscars.  In 2019, Patrice co-founded a film industry blockchain working group together with Manuel Badel, launching at the American Film Market. 

Following the Berlinale, Papicha won two Cesar awards. Read more at The Hollywood Reporter. Patrice and Manuel also released a report on their work in blockchain, which you can read here