FOCUS/The sustainable lightness of the Dutch

fotoMO2012We do not want to dictate rules from above, but rather motivate people with the challenge that you can make savings by adopting a green approach”. Renée van der Grinten of the Netherland Film Fund brought the “Dutch” approach to the conference: “We are committed to sharing knowledge and communicating enthusiasm, so that people themselves feel the need to change their approach”.
Renè described the creation, in 2011, of the Green Film Making Project (which was concluded in December 2014) directed towards young filmmakers, which aimed to introduce the concept of sustainable cinema:
“We connected the Green Film Making Project with our shorts program that aims to produce 10 short films every year: since then, for two years, the 10 filmmakers have held workshops on sustainable cinema and how to redesign their production processes”.Some filmmakers were enthusiastic and produced significant results but others, whilst finding the approach interesting, felt that learning all those procedures was too demanding.
“For this reason”, continues Renè, “from January we decided to hire a sustainability manager to follow each project that benefits from the Fund. Offering advice to producers, the eco-manager studies the whole movie in order to evaluate the most suitable sustainability actions”.
The objective is to create awareness so that “in future, the productions themselves will meet the consultancy costs”.

In Holland, the green wind also moves distribution. Producer Maureen Prins warmed up the audience in Cagliari by presenting the Solar Cinema project, a solar energy projection system which is able to bring cinema even to places that do not have a movie theater.
In fact, the projector is mounted on a van fitted with solar panels that make it autonomous and able to access any location in order to hold a screening. A mobile, and sustainable cinema.
Maureen explains that she founded Solar Cinema eight years ago:
“It is a cinema that takes only 30 minutes to set up and 50 minutes to take down. It is possible to hold screenings for around 700 people”.
Solar Cinema carries out between 40 and 50 screenings a year (during the winter it organizes indoor screenings-events).
The audience doesn’t have to buy a ticket: “we always work with festivals and local government, and other types of institutions or associations linked to sustainability that contact us and ask us to organize screenings”.
The project, which seems to recall the cinema of Tornatore (from whom the producer admits to have drawn inspiration) works, because “we combine two elements: we are a platform for arthouse, independent films and, by using solar energy, we carry out an ongoing activity of raising awareness about the environment”.
Maureen Prins has also created a themed workshop where filmmakers are invited to “think how they would tell a story about sustainability in a non-moralistic way for an international audience”. The first workshop was held last year in Mexico.
“We have drawn inspiration from the franchise model”, concludes Prins, “and are looking for partners. To date we have set up a network of 5 cinemas: in Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil and Ecuador; soon we will be opening in Spain, Portugal, Bali and Indonesia. We get lots of calls from the remotest places, our aim is to become regular green distributors and work on an international catalogue: we also have our own program of sustainable-themed shorts”.

“The whole spirit of Holland is encompassed in this leap towards green cinema, the playful way in which the country’s inhabitants face new things”: Stefano Odoardi, the multi award-winning director and visual artist, originally from Abruzzi, who years ago moved to Amsterdam, where he lives and works, is convinced of this.
Odoardi was in Cagliari, together with editor and co-producer, Gianluca Stuard where they are fully immersed in the production of “Mancanza-Purgatorio”, the second act of a “journey into the soul” trilogy.
Odoardi, who has involved the local population of the S. Elia quarter in the shooting of the film, has also given his contribution to the think tank on sustainable cinema: “The creative operation,” he says, “is already in itself an ecological operation, because it makes you understand the importance of others: you take care of each other”.
Odoardi studied in Italy at the Academy of Fine Arts, his background is in painting, but it was in Holland that he attended the Dasarts, which opened the door to cinema.
“Cinema reaches more people, it has a greater social impact”, says Odoardi who, whilst admitting the elitist nature of his cinema, a work of research into theatrical language, also asserts its social function: to “awaken” consciences. The creative act is a “privation”, a painful deed.
A cathartic process, as it appears in “Mancanza-inferno”, the first movie in the trilogy filmed in 2013 amidst the ruins of post-earthquake Aquila: here Odoardi works on the rubble of the soul, the condition of being damned that the inhabitants carry inside; a condition that is possibly soothed by the presence of an angel (played by the only professional actress Angelique Cavallari), the narrative image that links the alienated tales of the inhabitants-prisoners of Aquila. After being selected for the Rotterdam festival ,“Mancanza – inferno” went to the Music Biennale 2014 (for its very particular use of the soundtrack written by Andrea Manzoli). It can currently be viewed on demand on iTunes inside the ‘IFFR in the Cloud’ project organized by the Rotterdam Festival.
Returning to the artist’s craft, Odoardi uses a metaphor: “To understand the dimension of necessity and urgency, we should imagine that art is the wind and human beings are the blades on the turbine. Through the wind, art moves the human beings who, in turn, create energy. A clean energy”.

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