Les critiques du Lab Young Critics
Green Charter: trust the process – the ecologic path for film festivals
Last Sunday, 11th December, Les Arcs Film Festival hosted the Green Charter workshop, putting a focus on sustainability in the context of movie festivals. This event exposed the current problems and its situation and suggested realistic solutions to make the industry greener.
Cultural sector and the urgent changes that need to be made
Every year, film festivals offer connection, networking and exchanging of ideas to industry people and the general public. Unfortunately, something that is often overlooked during these events is sustainability. Usually, transportation, food, waste and energy are the main sources of pollution. As with many other sectors, the cultural one cannot shy away from the urgent changes that need to be made to tackle the issues of climate change.
How can film festivals be greener
On Sunday 11th December, a small and cozy hotel room hosted the Green Charter workshop. This initiative by Les Arcs Film Festival is committed to find sustainable and flexible solutions to make movie festivals greener. Rather than a lecture, the festival general manager Guillaume Calop led an honest conversation about the topic. Through a journey of self-awareness, the whole team realised their mistakes and came up with short and long term solutions to lower consumption.
The Green charter, 38 festivals involved and 50 ready to join
The program was founded in 2019 and is committed to getting better in this matter depending on the specific needs of every film event. For example, Les Arcs’ location is so particular that it doesn’t allow much of a choice when it comes to transportation. The Green Charter aims to change the mindset of the people involved – from the public to the partners and team – and tries to engage them in a learning process, rather than being a box to check out. This program is meant to be a network of festivals, a space where different organizations can share and compare ideas to define their own path. In May 2022, a web-based platform (Greencharterforfilmfestivals.org) was launched as a tool for cultural events to measure their consumption. As of now, 38 festivals have already joined and 50 more are ready to from all over the world.
Learning skills and going through the training process
As one of the main goals is to be clear and transparent in order to be held accountable, the organizers were very upfront about the challenges they have been facing. The conversation included the experience of the people involved in actually making festivals greener. As they said, the main goal is learning skills and going through the training process. The Green Charter helps festivals educating themselves and taking the first steps toward a greener future, which are usually the hardest. A fitting metaphor was brought up: the program is meant to educate the signees and help them take the first steps as skiing lessons would prepare you to go down the green slope.
At the end of the event, the participants had a brainstorming session divided into two groups about ways to make festivals greener and how to get more cultural organizations to join the program. Some of the suggestions, related to eco-friendliness, were about digital accreditation – instead of paper ones –, food choices – mostly vegetarian – and public transportation options. Of course, accommodating these changes can be challenging, especially when people aren’t used to it. About getting more cultural institutions to join the program, the conclusion was that concrete communication is the key to a successful branding strategy.
Useful and realistic hopes for the future
The more festivals join, the wider the knowledge and support network get, so that it will be able to offer and share even more precious resources. Les Arcs Film Festival’s Green Charter have expressed useful and realistic hopes for the future, setting a standard for this kind of industrial event. There is still a lot to do, but the process is essential for cultivating our self-awareness and committing to be better.
By Tecla Trupia and Marta Mangas (MIOB Journalism Lab)