SARDINIA/The Virtues of Sets

Environmental sustainability and cinema. Two words that are almost never used together when the movie industry is promoting itself. But it is enough just to visit the places used as sets to realize that cinema is a production sector with a very low environmental impact.
And that’s not all: very often productions leave the locations in a better condition than when they arrived. This is the case (especially for locations in southern Italy) for the piazzas, buildings and monuments that cinema saves from degradation with restoration work and improve- ments. Thus, by its very nature, cinema is good for the environment.

ENVIROMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION

In Sardinia they are trying to go one step further by linking cinema’s naturally environmentally sustainable vocation with a regional policy that aims to reduce energy consumption: this is the ambitious 20-20-20 Heroes project, the result of the collaboration between the Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission, the Energy Service of the Autonomous Regional Government of Sardinia and Sardegna Ricerche.
“Some excellent actions aimed at protecting and safeguarding the territory have been launched by the regional government with very little fanfare”, explains Nevina Satta, director of the Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission, “Our intervention is just the latest element and involves communication, promotion and entertainment activities regarding the content and results of the document setting out regional guidelines for improving energy efficiency in Sardinia known as the Paeer – Action Plan for Regional Energy Efficiency”.
With calls for tender from May and throughout 2015, the Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission will be promoting the realization of audiovisual products – shorts, documentaries, web series – that communicate the values of environmental sustainability, the culture of saving, and respect for the eco-system, including the promotion of low impact natural materials.
“The Film Commission”, continues Satta “decided to unite two production chains that are working at two speeds: the energy chain which is going very fast, and the audiovisual one which, for many years, has been more or less at a standstill in Sardinia”.
The interaction will have a double benefit-effect: the environmental sustainability will not only regard the content of the products (“the protagonists will be those heroes of environmental sustain- ability who have worked here in Sardinia for many years”) but will also enter into the production practices.
“We will ask producers to go around experimenting with green protocol practices, i.e. how to make audiovisuals in an environmentally sustainable way”.
“Audiovisuals is a sustainable and green industry, as they have already understood for years in the States and Northern Europe, where the so-called “green protocols” for sets are becoming increasingly well-established”, explains Satta. “We are talking about strategies for reducing energy consumption, the rationalization of the transport of goods and people, the recycling of sets and the waste generated by the cast and crew over the weeks on location, the use of electric cars, promoting the prevention and reduction of the environmental impact in connection with audiovisual productions, studies and experiments created ad hoc by each European country in order to draw up certification criteria and accurate forms of measurement”.

A NATURAL VOCATION
“Because of our wonderful island and the respect we have for it, the centrality of the sense of community, family and memory which is our strength” continues the director, “we cannot develop the audiovisual industry without a far-sighted policy of environmental responsibility, energy savings and sustainability”.
This is why the Film Commission aims to promote Sardinia asa whole entity, as an ideal destination for audiovisual productions: “We don’t just have breathtaking locations” confirms Satta, “but also stories, people, customs and traditions, a thousand year old culture, excellent professionals, inclusive cultural and social practices, as well as new production models that generate extraordinary works and talents, on both the big and small screen”. Without forgetting that respect for the island must include the coasts, mountains, uplands, fauna, original materials as well as its traditional and sustainable food products.

“We are not alone in thinking that the island embodies perfect harmony between man and nature” adds the director” because ours is one of the five countries in the world with the highest rate of longevity (the so-called ‘Blue Zones’), because of the perfect balance between nature, climate, diet and wellbeing”.

THE REGIONAL PLAN
The Regional Plan for energy savings and sustainable mobility (PAEER) is an instrument which is used to program and direct strategic interventions in terms of energy. It is an initiative introduced by the director of the Energy Service, Simona Murroni.
“The Plan’s proposal is to create an interconnection between energy sources and infrastructures in order to realize an integrated distributed generation model that can use the energy available in the most efficient and profitable way, encouraging efficiency in various sectors, thus contributing to relaunching the economy and resolving the serious criticalities to be found in the Sardinian energy system” explains Ms. Murroni, specifying that “Making efficiencies means producing electricity at lower costs with lower emissions or, rather, giving a better service at similar costs to those registered in the rest of the Peninsula, all to benefit the price of electricity purchased by consumers all over Italy.

ENERGY DESK
The “Sportello Energia” or Energy desk was created by Sardegna Ricerche with the support of the Autonomous Regional Government of Sardinia, respecting the energy saving policies adopted. It offers physical and virtual training and popularization courses in the energy sector, free of charge, and provides both on-line and in-house advice to Sardinian entrepreneurs and local government for supporting users, spreading new cultural models of environmental sustainability and rediscovering regional resources.

SARDINIA BUYS GREEN
Another action aimed at spreading new practices of environmental sustainability is “Sardegna Compraverde”, which resulted from the observation that in order to achieve the desired objective it is necessary to create a demand and direct the “green” purchases of Public Bodies. Basically, buying green means reducing the use of natural resources and the production of waste through renewable raw materials and energy sources, eliminating dangerous and chemical substances, thus promoting the green economy and incentivizing different models of production and sustainable consumption.

THE CATALOGUE
To catalogue natural and sustainable production in Sardinia: this is the initiative realized by Sardegna Ricerche in order to spread the culture of environmental sustainability around the island through the rediscovery of original materials.

These are traditional local materials such as wood, cork, wool, granite and e basalt, earth and clay which, combined with the skill and experience of wise craftsmen and new entrepreneurs, can be used to realize products for bio-architecture, eco-design and sustainable construction. “From here came the need to photograph and catalogue what we had in order to be able to plan a proper program of activities in support of this sector”, says Marina Masala, the creator of the project and head of the Energia-Cluster Desk for sustainable materials and productions of Sardegna Ricerche, The catalogue of natural and sustainable products in Sardinia was designed to be a promotional tool for businesses providing information for professionals and public bodies which, by choosing green purchases (‘green public procurement’), could represent the main outlet market for these products”.

These materials are also a resource for cinema: “The use of cork” Nevina Satta uses as an example, “is excellent not just for sets but from a technical viewpoint as well, because it has excellent sound-proofing properties, whilst wool can absorb light: there are various uses which have not yet been identified. Convincing producers to use these materials would encourage a new type of creativity with the emergence of new skills and the consequent positive effects on employment”

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