The film industry commits to fight climate change from cinema

Participants of the work sessions about cinema and climate change

10/26/2018.- As a result of Cinema and Climate Change sessions celebrated within the 63rd Valladolid International Film Festival, ecologists, filmmakers, producers, directors and scriptwriters have committed, in a groundbreaking manifesto, to finding ways of filming that are more environmentally friendly. This document, El cine español frente al cambio climático (Spanish cinema against climate change), was signed by more than 40 professionals from the sector, who invited other members of the Spanish film industry to join the cause.

The manifesto states that the filmmakers “recognise the need to contribute in protecting our planet with our work” and that “we agree to reflect upon the causes and possible solutions to climate change through our profession.” Moreover, the signatories proposed several initiatives to “move towards ways of filming that are more environmentally friendly”. They also called for the Spanish government and institutions to join this proposal and to “take urgent measures to support projects and shootings through a ‘green seal’ that guarantees and honours the sustainable spirit of our future productions,” since it already exists in other European countries.

The green film seal is a badge that certifies that individual or production companies with audiovisual projects will make their productions in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. This seal is awarded to any production, whether feature or short film, television show or advertisement that can prove its filming was ‘green.’ To attain this badge, the interested party should comply with the 19 established measures that affect all production, art and costume, make up and catering departments.

The manifesto was a result of the Cinema and Climate Change sessions of the Seminci, an initiative that illustrated the Seventh Art’s capacity to raise awareness among film enthusiasts (particularly younger ones) about environmental issues, as well as to contribute in educating them about the need to protect the planet against climate change. To organise this event, the Seminci had the support of Greenpeace, the Asociación Estatal de Cine – AEC (State Film Association), the University of Valladolid, Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action) and the Council for the Environment of the Town Hall of Valladolid.

In these sessions, scientists specialising in climate change, alongside filmmakers, scriptwriters, directors and producers, have participated in a closed door debate where there was representation from Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Acción. Also, there was a workshop directed and moderated by Carlos de Castro, physicist and professor at the University of Valladolid, in which he analysed and later debated successes and failures in environmental conflicts and issues by using scenes from films as examples.

The participants also took part in the activities conducted by Álvaro Longoria, who posed the question “Do films pollute?” in which they studied the progress achieved in the search for sustainable filming. The need for a progressive implementation of the Green Shooting Card, a list of measures to reduce pollution in filming locations, was also discussed. This wish for the introduction of a green filming seal and more importantly, the manifesto, are the result of these sessions in Cinema and Climate Change.

Green Spike for Ága 

The SEMINCI has unveiled today that the film Ága, by Milko Lazarov (Bulgaria/Germany/France) has been awarded the first ever Green Spike to the film that best represents environmental values out of all the films participating in the 63rd edition. The jury was formed by David Baute, director of the Canary Islands International Environmental Film Festival; Arturo Larena, journalist for the Agencia EFE and expert in environmental issues; Mónica Parrilla, responsible for the campaign against forest fires and coordinator of Greenpeace’s Group for Gender-related topics; Elvira Cámara, state coordinator for Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action); and Carmen Duce, industrial engineer and technician at the International Cooperation towards Development Office of the University of Valladolid.

Nanook, a reindeer hunter, and his wife Sedna live in a yurt in the snowy northern steppes, following their ancestors’ traditions. However, their lifestyle is changing slowly but surely: hunting is ever more difficult, the animals are dying inexplicably and the ice is melting sooner each year. When Sedna’s health takes a turn for the worse, Nanook embarks on a long journey to find his daughter Agá who, because of a family dispute, left the frozen tundra to work in a diamond mine. This is Milko Lazarov’s (Bulgaria, 1967) second feature film, with which he won the prize to the Best Film in the Sarajevo Film Festival.

The jury also awarded a special mention to the Canadian film Youth Unstoppable by director Slater Jewell-Kemker.

Posted in 63rd Seminci.