T-Green Film is the rating system launched by the Trentino Film Commission for environmentally sustainable theatrical productions. Operational since February 2017, it has been an instant success: out of the total of 8 features granted a contribution by the Regional Fund in the last year, 5 have requested certification.
However the economic incentive to adopt the rating system does not explain this success on its own.
In fact, the effect amounts to 5% on the contribution received, the limit of which is € 200,000 which means that it does not exceed € 10,000.
“Let’s say it encourages people to give it a try”, comments Luca Ferrario, on behalf of Trentino Film Commission, pointing out that “in any case the producer has to be predisposed towards green behavior”
But who are these “virtuous” producers? Cinema & Video International has collected some of their comments. They are significant experiences because they come from productions that are very diverse in terms of genre, budget and provenance.
“Ride” by Jacopo Rondinelli (written and co-produced by Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro – with their Mercurious and Tim Vision– who are also responsible for the artistic supervision), will be released on 6 September. This is a high adrenalin thriller which tells the story of two acrobatic riders who are invited to take part in a mysterious downhill race on the mountains of the Trentino region.
It is a highly anticipated film because it is one of the very first multi-cam experiments with sequences that were also filmed using around twenty go pro cameras at the same time.
Tommaso Arrighi whose Mood Film handled the production for Lucky Red, defines it as “a film that, by the very nature of the story, had very green potential, a potential that the adoption of the
T-Green Film rating system made it possible to fully exploit.”
First and foremost in terms of the energy savings: “go pros are cameras that run on batteries and do not need any special lighting. Moreover, the method of filming involved the characters actually wearing them: on a helmet, on a backpack… This meant it was nearly always impossible to use artificial or constructed lighting. By adopting the rating system we also chose to totally avoid the use of generators. We actually moved around a very “light” set due to the absence of scenery and costumes. Another chapter concerned the transport which was optimized in order to operate to full capacity using vehicles in the lowest polluting category”.
The crew was quite small and very ‘Trentino-oriented’: “we employed a lot of local workers: prop-men, assistant set designers, make-up and wig units, drivers, some production people, the head of the sound department Carlo Missidenti and the location manager Massimo Lorenzato”.
Camaleo is a factory that is involved in theatrical production as well as the organization of events, one of the few companies in Italy to have ISO 9001 and 20121 green certification.
For this reason Trentino was the place of choice for “Sconnessi” by Christian Marazziti, a comedy (released in movie theaters last February) about an eccentric extended family that finds itself in a mountain chalet without an internet connection.
“To discover that Trentino has the same type of approach to the environment convinced us even more that this was the right place to film” explains Roberto Cipullo, the film’s producer.
The chalet was recreated inside the Palazzo delle Miniere in Fiera di Primiero, a hamlet in San Martino di Castrozza that hosts a museum and various exhibitions.
Adopting the T-Green Film rating system, continues Elvira Afeltra, inspector of production at Camaleo, involved some extra expenditure, “for example buying biodegradable material for the catering, choosing suppliers whose sustainability is guaranteed and the actual recycling of the wooden panels used for the sets. But at the same time it also offered savings and economies of scale: we reused the same panels for the events we organize. Moreover the furnishings were supplied by a selection of companies and straight after filming they were reused in showrooms and furniture fairs without any impact on the environment”. Therefore, in the end, “the scales leaned more heavily towards the benefits”.
A museum as the sole location and a similar practice of reusing wood from the sets were also features of “Menocchio”, the feature length movie by Alberto Fasulo selected in competition at the Locarno festival which tells the story of a miller from Friuli who was tried as a heretic in 1500 and sentenced by the Inquisition.
A “super green” film, we are assured by Nadia Trevisan who produced it with her Nefertiti Film (in co-production with the Romanian Hai Hui Entertainment and Rai Cinema), adopting the Trentino Film Commission’s T- Green Film protocol.
“It is a movie that was filmed thanks to the region”, she explains, “not just Trentino where we filmed for 2 weeks, but also Friuli Venezia Giulia, where we did most of the shooting”.
The material used for the sets came from Friuli “and was then recycled at the end of filming. We gave some of the sets to associations whilst others remained at the Castle of Buoncosiglio in Trento”.
The green contribution was also shared by the foreign co-producer. As Trevisan points out: “the wardrobe department was Romanian, led by Viorica Petrovici, a very talented costume designer who immediately understood the director’s vision and participated very willingly, creating wonderful clothing for the populace, the priests, which were subsequently given away to be reused”.
Producers are always preoccupied with rationalizing costs, avoiding waste not just in terms of money but also in terms of materials and time: this is, basically, the logic that predisposes cinema towards an environmental awareness. One person who is convinced of this is Emanuele Nespeca, the line producer at Minerva Pictures for “Restiamo Amici”, the new film by Antonello Grimaldi in competition at the last Taormina Film Festival and filmed in Trento, Rovereto and Riva del Garda:
“We tend to always try and make the set more rational, both in terms of the management of waste as well as the optimization of transport. In Trentino, by choosing to adhere to the protocol, we took some further steps forward: the catering, for example, did not envisage the use of lunch boxes, a buffet was organized on set and all the tableware was biodegradable, the use of plastic was prohibited and we supplied the crew with flasks that everyone refilled from a big water bottle. We used light projectors with LED lamps and hardly ever turned on the generator thanks to an agreement with Trento Energia which meant that almost all the locations had a cabin with a direct connection to the electricity supply. The energy savings also generated an economic benefit because gas costs more than electricity”.
The productions also have the opportunity of choosing to hire a green manager. In the cases mentioned above, this was Stefano Boscherini who created the rating system together with the APPA and the film commission and who, Arrighi assures us: “is an engineer with a profound knowledge of the protocol who reassured us about many aspects that worried us and that turned out to be simpler than expected”,.
Finally communication is a central element of T-Green Film which is not just limited to the professionals who choose to make their set greener. A strategic chapter of the rating system adopted by all the productions described above, in fact, includes among the various criteria making up the final score actions of communication vis-à-vis the public such as the production of clips, trailers and backstage footage that aim to illustrate the good practices adopted on the sets involved or the description of these practices in the press kits or at press conferences.