monthly newsletter of NISI MASA
OCT11 ECO-CINEMA conversation:
Sylvia Taborelli reports:
A scene from Wall-E (2008)
Behind the scenes of an unknown adventure film
editorial Green Revolution After a decade of innovative filmmaking and scriptwriting projects and expanding all over Europe, NISI MASA suddenly realized that there is a key topic that needs to be tackled: the planet Earth. NISI MASA also realized that itâ€™s time to make the green revolution. You might think that the organization became both megalomaniacal and too political. But, let me explain. This month we decided to reflect on the environment in cinema from different angles. Making films is a fantastic way to express ideas, to explore the world and to reflect on contemporary society. More and more documentaries expose critical situations about environment and the best practices to protect it. Thanks to their broadcast in environmental film festivals, step by step they start to get a political impact. In fiction film, Mother Nature can be a narrative force of the story. Remember those horror movies where the forest or big toothed fishes are the personification of different kinds of fears?
This is fiction. Today deforestation is a big problem and sharks could become extinct soon. Then everything needs to be rethought to minimize the human impact on nature - even the audiovisual sector which also has a carbon footprint. Of course, this is smaller than the traditional industry. But why should not the producers, the directors and the funders also think about their own garden? Surprisingly, the ones who are making environmental documentaries are not necessarily the easiest to convince. The assessment made by the Ecoprod, a green lobby in cinema, shows us that there is still a long way to go, but some important steps have already been made. From Vancouver (US) where they built a carbon neutral studio to the South of France, where a local fund supports green shootings, passing by Italy where the CinemAmbiente Film Festival screens and acts green, different initiatives are contributing to our awareness and the environmental conservation. By Joanna Gallardo
Mas y Mas is a monthly newsletter published by the association NISI MASA. EDITORIAL STAFF Coordination and Layout Mario Kozina
Contributors to this issue: Pierre-Anthony Canovas, Joanna Gallardo, Mario Kozina, Maya Puig, Elisabeth RenaultGeslin
NISI MASA (European Office) 99 Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis 75010, Paris, France Tel/Fax: +33 (0)9 60 39 63 38 + 33 (0)6 32 61 70 26 Email email@example.com Website www.nisimasa.com
dossier Le Syndrome du Titanic (2009)
From eco-themed documentaries to nature's revenge horror films, cinema was always interested to tackle the environmental issues in many creative ways. However, during the last decade several initiatives were incited to make both the filmmakers and the audience even more aware of the responsibility they share towards the environment. Read all about the eco-friendly ways for consuming, distributing and making films!
Long Weekend When nature seeks revenge... Eco-themed documentaries often face us with alarming facts and numbers to shock us into a state of awareness. At the same time, in movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and Happening (2008), the irresponsible ways we treat our planet haunts us like a popcorn-flavored nightmare. The trend started in the 1950s, and reached its peak 20 years later, when environmental themes entered popular cinema in sci-fi movies like Silent Running (1972) and Soylent Green (1973). At the same time, the silver screen was invaded by blood-thirsty animals seeking to taste some fresh human flesh. Even the otherwise harmless creatures like frogs and rabbits showed the sharpness of their teeth! Some filmmakers recognized the multilayered possibilities of the formula. One of the most intriguing examples came from Australia, a cinema that – at least in its horror tradition – linked its vast and untamed landscapes to the wilderness of the human soul. Long Weekend (1978) told the story about a married couple who goes camping, but along the way they make several crimes against nature: from throwing a lit cigarette butt in the dry bushes to accidentally killing a kangaroo. Soon nature decides that it won’t be treated with disrespect anymore, and the couple comes under attack from various animals. According to the rules of the genre, eco-terror symbolizes nature's revenge, but here it also functions as a catalyst to the protagonists' relationship. The husband and wife despise each other, rather than love, and the disrespect they show towards nature they also show to each other. The effective use of cinemascope, off-screen sound and digitally distorted music score help to create a sense of emotional anxiety of the relationship falling apart. However, in spite of its creative achievements, 33 years after it premiered Long Weekend stayed an obscure cult gem, whose legacy can be traced in low budget thrillers like Open Water (2003) and Frozen (2010). By Mario Kozina
Environmental Documentaries A (new) campaign to influence politics? They are everywhere, their influence is growing and their targets are changing. Environmental documentaries are now the way to campaign, and it seems to be pretty good news. Nowadays, the struggle against climate change is on everybody’s lips. Its causes and multiple consequences (pollution, cancers, refugees of natural catastrophes…) are well-known. Politically, the issue arose after the first Earth Summit in 1972, but for decades was discussed almost only in institutional circles. Films related to the subject were somehow academic - not really designed for large audiences. This time is over. Recent environmental documentaries are campaigning. Over the past few years, a growing number of impressive movies have been released in theatres: some featuring a pedagogical-style of narration, others persuading only through images. Besides raising people’s awareness, the trend is to encourage taking action. So far it seems to be working, as civil society progressively emerges as a relevant counter-power on the
global stage. Some films have even included celebrities to make the message stronger. An Inconvenient Truth (2006) presented a lesson on climate change by former Vice-President Al Gore. The film was shown within several organizations and had such an impact that the politician co-received the Nobel Prize for Peace. However, sometimes these films are also made to make a candidacy more credible. It was the case for French activist and TV host Nicolas Hulot who decided to run for the 2012 presidential election. Two years ago, he was the author of the Le Syndrome du Titanic (2009), whose goal was to prove the negative effects of climate change. Hulot recently failed to win the Ecological "green" party's primaries. Engaging movies often give a key voice, but don't necessarily give a job… By Pierre-Anthony Canovas
Ecoprod How to make films by environmentally friendly means?
Les Deux Tableaux (by Vanessa Santullo - FFM)
To Act Green! An audiovisual fund with green criteria An innovative initiative was developed by the ProvenceAlpes-Côte d’Azur region (France). The AGIR program (“to act”) supports projects linked to sustainable energies. Audiovisual projects are astonishingly a part of this program. In addition to the financial support from the Region, the production receives a specific support to develop the green initiatives. It was the case for the feature La disintegration from Philippe Faucon. The waste has been recycled and the technical material has been rented as close as possible from the shooting location. Instead of common lightning which is very energy-consuming, the DOP has used a sum of small LEDs which allow reducing the carbon footprint. To produce the film, 90.9 tons of carbon were used which represents 9 years of CO2 emission of one person or more than 32 000 liters of petrol.
By Joanna Gallardo
A unique European initiative held by two French television channels (TF1 and France Television), the Ile-de-France Film Commission and Audiens, a pension fund specialized in culture, was set to focus on the environmental impact of the audiovisual sector. It is called Ecoprod and it aims to define the green initiatives’ best practices adapted for shooting. Starting from scratch, with the support of two funding agencies the four partners created the tools to make the professionals aware of the problem of sustainability. On its website Ecoprod proposes very practical advice for a shooting: what kind of light to use, how to recycle the set, how to manage the waste… Even an online carbon evaluator adapted to the audiovisual sector was made. Thanks to the Carbon clap a production company can calculate how much CO2 a shooting will use.
At the same time both Hollywood features and TV series such as ‘24’ show a good example by announcing their carbon impact during shooting. If Hollywood does it, the green wave will slowly arrive on European shores. Of course, a good will from the producers, the directors and the funders is necessary. How to convince a producer to stay in his own country to shoot a film to reduce the carbon impact of the travels, when some of the East European countries welcome shooting with very competitive conditions ? The material suppliers have a key role. Today, if you are a producer with environmental awareness, it is still hard to find sustainable products adapted to this sector. In the meantime art designers like Michel Gondry think about a kind of poverty ethic, trying to find creative ways to shoot a film with very reasonable production means. This is where the green revolution in cinema could also come from… By Joanna Gallardo Official site: www.ecoprod.com
Ile-de-France Film Comission
Until now, 19 films have been granted, including short films. The producer Jérôme Nunes from Les Films de Force Majeur is the green warrantor of their next shooting - Les Deux Tableaux by Vanessa Santullo. The production received 5000 euros from the AGIR program. It’s important to implement those green best practices as soon as possible in the shooting preparation, said Jérôme. Inform the suppliers about your eco-needs, the studio manager about the environmental criteria’s respect as much as the budget allows it, everything is a question of pre-emption and of information. Jérôme Nunes even added a mention in the team’s contracts: the shooting must be as much as possible respectful for the environment…
More and more documentary films talk about environmental themes, showing the best practices in term of sustainability. But what about the environmental impact of the audiovisual production itself? Travels for shooting, lights for the set, the waste produced by the team are also energy-consuming.
film researcher for CinemAmbiente FF
CinemAmbiente is an Environmental Film Festival in Turin that has an active role in raising ecoawareness through its year round projects. Its film program is designed to satisfy the tastes of eco-activists and film buffs alike. We had a chat with Siliva Taborelli, a Nisimasian from Italy, and the main person for film research for the festival program. Can you tell us something about the most popular topics in environmental documentaries? Environmental documentaries are growing very fast both in terms of quantity and quality. The big success of An Inconvenient Truth (2006) has led to an increase in documentaries in a similar vein. This often means tones of impending disaster and a clear denouncement of it. These are films looking for public indignation through feelings of fear, as for example 11th Hour (2007) by Leonardo Di Caprio. But other trends, those I personally like the most, are catching on. For example we have interesting films set in the future, such as The Age of Stupid (2009) or mockumentaries such as the shorts Recife frio (2009) and Plastic Bag (2008). In terms of content we saw a rise in climate change and energy as the core themes after Al Gore’s film, but also a lot of films dedicated to waste, especially plastic diffusion on the planet, and food. Still too few films, in my opinion, are addressing one of today’s most poignant topics: nuclear energy. There are two very good documentaries - Into Eternity (2010) and The Nuclear Comeback (2007) that focus on this subject. Many of these films tend to impress you with facts and numbers. Could you comment on the relationship between activist and aesthetic qualities of those films? The best films are those which combine aesthetic research with an important topic. Documentaries with too many numbers, facts and information risk alienating the audience, but of course it depends how you put them across. Talking heads documentaries can be very annoying, the challenge is to show facts in a creative way. After all, it is cinema, not a scientific report! I really appreciate films like The Planet (2006), Waste Land (2010) or Into Eternity because they are both informative and cinematographic. How are these topics covered in mainstream cinema, especially in fiction feature film? I see a phenomenal growth in interest in green cinema from Hollywood productions, a key point for the development of a more conscious audience. In mainstream cinema I would like to mention Wall-E (2008) and Avatar (2009). Both are box-office champions and we can consider them as environmental tales. Wall-E is a wonderful picture of our reality today: consumerism, opulence, surplus, disposable society. Avatar strongly de-
nounces the destruction of natural resources and overexploitation. Also, James Cameron has become an environmental activist, notably defending the Amazon rainforest from oil companies. How does the organization of the festival follow the eco-friendly attitudes that the films in the program promote? CinemAmbiente is the first Italian zero-emission festival: its CO2 emissions are compensated and its products are recycled and Ecolabel and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Coherent with its policies, the Festival complies with Agenda 21 by purchasing eco-sustainable materials. Moreover during the festival we use electric and methane gas cars and we organize lunch for our guests following zero-mile food philosophy. Is organizing a festival in the eco-friendly way easier or more complicated than organizing it in a “regular” way? I wouldn’t say it's easier or more complicated; it's just another way to conceive festival organization. A lot of environmental attitudes are considered difficult or even impossible only because we are not in the habit of addressing them. From a financial perspective we can often discover that eco-actions can be much less expensive than originally believed. I really believe in the importance of realigning public attitudes and of course the market will follow the demands of it’s customers; this would go a long way in keeping the costs of ecofriendly policies down and in making people feel more at ease. On the other hand for a public event I think an eco-friendly attitude is a very important communication investment and an important social responsibility. By Mario Kozina Official site: www.cinemambiente.it
news European short NISIMAZINE TALLINN call for participants pitch 2012 announcement
The jury for the upcoming European Short Pitch has been selected. 8 international members of the jury will meet on November 16th during the 17th edition of Encounters International Film Festival in Bristol. European Short Pitch is a scriptwriting and pitching project for young Europeans. It aims to support the development of young directors and to get their short films made as European coproductions. The ESP 2012 edition is planned for the following dates and locations: - Scriptwriting workshop in Luxembourg, January 2-8th - Pitching and coproduction forum in Maribor, March 2-4th
NISI MASA Estonia organizes a Nisimazine workshop that will be held from November 25th to December 2nd during the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. 16 Nisimasians from Estonia, Finland and Lithuania will have an opportunity to work with a professional mentor, to cover the festival and publish their articles daily on the Nisimazine website.
NISIMAZINE TALLINN DEADLINE: OCTOBER 14th Apply here: firstname.lastname@example.org 15th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: www.2011.poff.ee/eng
ESP 2012 DEADLINE: OCTOBER 10th
FILM JOURNALISM WORKSHOP KAUNAS Kaunas 2011 film journalism workshop is organized by the Kaunas International Film Festival, a NISI MASA member from Lithuania. It takes place from September 28th to October 3rd and is a pilot project for a Nisimazine workshop during the same festival. 10 participants will cover the festival through daily articles, tutored by the esteemed film critic Boyd van Hoeij. The best reviews will be published on the Nisimazine blog:
nISIMAZINE ABU DHABI Last year, the Abu Dhabi film journalism workshop was a success, and now it continues with the second edition. During the October 13th to 22nd 9 international participants will have a chance to form an editorial team and create daily issues of Nisimazine Abu Dhabi. Their articles will also be available on the www.nisimazine.eu Abu Dhabi Film Festival: www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae/
CASTING workshop The wedding tape in FOR ACTORS The most recent winner of the NISI MASA script competition Ariel Shaban from Kosovo has entered the Abu Dhabi Film Festival short film competition. The Wedding Tape (Kaseta e Dasmes) is the story of a man who fakes a marriage in order to get the papers to leave the country. Abu Dhabi Film Festival: www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae
call for participants
From 28th November to 5th December Nisimazine will cover the One World / Jeden Svet Documentary Film Festival in Bratislava (Slovakia). The call is launched for 10 young and motivated participants from France, Germany and Slovakia to join the editorial team. Apply here: email@example.com
NISIMAZINE BRATISLAVA DEADLINE: OCTOBER 25th
FEATURE LENGTH OMNIBUS
call for submissions kino5, a NISI MASA member from Austria, is producing its first professional feature film. The project is called Batesian and is looking for the directors and screenwriters. It will be a fictional anthology film made of six episodes by six different directors. Each episode will be 15-20 minutes long. The chosen directors and screenwriters will be invited to Vienna, to work on his/her episode with a local co-director or co-screenwriter. The call is open for all the creative minds to send the treatment for one of the episodes! For all the details check out: www.batesian.org/
BATESIAN DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 7th
FEST Film Lab, NISI MASA organization from Portugal, organizes Casting workshops for actors. The tutor will be Nancy Bishop, an Emmynominated casting director who worked on 60 major feature films and television projects. The workshop will be held on October 1st and 2nd, and will include discussions, exercises and one-on-one coachings with Nancy. Find out more info here: www.filmlab.fest.pt/?p=140&lang=en
jONAS gROSCH DIRECTS HIS SECOND FEATURE Jonas Grosch, the participant of the NISI MASA script contest in 2003, recently finished his second feature comedy. The Last Lie (Die letzte L端ge) is a story about a couple whose romantic weekend gets spoiled by an unexpected arrival of their lovers. The film was made without any institutional funding, and the promotion is done through self-distribution and screening tours with the cast and the rockabilly-ska band The Busters responsible for the soundtrack of the film.
By Begüm Güleç
TO THE NEXT 10 YEARS! 10 years NISI MASA! Who would have thought that!? I know I certainly didn’t when I was called to participate in the meeting at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä in June 2002. It was one of the first meetings organized by Nisi Masa and I joined as part of FilmArche, the self managed film school in Berlin that we had just launched the year before. I mean, who thinks ten years ahead when they are twenty? But we all caught the „European Exchange Bug“ on that trip and surely NISI MASA continued growing and expanding. I was very involved with the Network for a long time until becoming absent in the last
couple of years due to studies and family responsibilities. But when I heard that the time had come to celebrate 10 years of NISI MASA there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to go! Catch up with the old gang and meet all of you who have joined in the last few years. And we surely expected a huge crazy gathering with 100 people from all over Europe...
It was probably one of the most relaxed NISI MASA meetings ever and between long walks through the fields of Lyon and wine fuelled evenings at dinner, we reminisced about the past and dreamed about the future of the association. After all, some of us are in our thirties now, and thinking ten years ahead has started to make sense...
Instead it turned out to be a very cosy, familiar get-together. Over the three days Matthieu Darras` mom took us in so kindly. We had the time to relax, catch up, play football, do sun salutations in the morning light and dance the night away to hits of the 80`s and 90’s. The idea was to play the greatest hits from 2001, but we figured we don’t need A genie in a bottle to Get the party started...
I will leave it to our new president Hannaleena Hauru to expand on the future of NISI MASA and raise my glass to all of you in their twenties who will make it happen!
To Focus or Not to Focus? When I set foot on the Venice ground at the Mostra, my first encounter was Viggo Mortensen getting out of the Sala Grande. But after wandering through the streets of Lido with an unexplained stupid smile on my face, I soon remembered why I was there: Focus on the Orizzonti selection! Time for a drink with Jay Weissberg, a journalist for Variety and our tutor in Nisimazine Abu Dhabi, and I was ready to brave the sleepless nights and the grey tan of any of the workaholic Nisimazians. Nisimazine Special Orizzonti was a workshop dedicated to NISI MASA alumni. Under the leadership of Matthieu Darras, Eftihia Stefanidi, Jude Lister and myself - young, very focused previous participants - got the chance to float among the canals of international cinema in one of the most famous film festivals in the world. Orizzonti is the experimental side of the Mostra selection. It released first time feature film directors such as the Australian Amiel Courtin-Wilson, as well as renowned artists Jonathan Demme's
To the next ten years! By Maya Eriksson
or James Franco's more intimate works. After watching hours of independent movies, one common point is definitely noticeable: the focus. It seems that the double characterization “experimental + indie” comes through certain specific stylistic issues, like the lens and focus variations. From Hail to L’Oiseau, from Sal to Cut, the directors work with great attention in deep focus and express the randomness of life. Becoming out of focus, the image manages to catch a glimpse of a brief emotion, far beyond words... This time Nisimazine wasn’t a daily printed issue, but an e-book published at the end of the Festival (thanks to the great Maartje Alders). The late deadline allowed me to enjoy my compulsive adoration for mainstream American and English cinema and to watch some of the official competition! Well, obviously I wasn’t focused enough either, considering my appearance in the Guardian video interview for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), where I appear unable to articulate anything about the film and its story... By Elisabeth Renault-Geslin
By Jude Lister
Being a NISI MASA alumni has many advantages. For starters, it can give you an opportunity to cover the A-list festivals, and every now and then you get a chance to hang-out with all the cool people you met on several projects. Having this in mind, we bring you the report from the red carpet of Mostra's more audacious Orizzonti selection and the report from the green carpet in Lyon where the 10th Anniversary of NISI MASA took place.
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