During the 35th European Film Awards on 10 December in Reykjavík Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, will accept the newly introduced European Sustainability Award – Prix Film4Climate 2022 on behalf of the European Commission. The award is given to the ambitious and revolutionary programme “European Green Deal”, that was launched by the Commission under von der Leyen’s Presidency.
The European Sustainability Award – Prix Film4Climate aims to award a European institution, company, or film for an “Outstanding European contribution to sustainability in film”. The initiative is a partnership between the European Film Academy and the World Bank Group’s programme for creative communications and climate action, Connect4Climate. The World Bank Group is the largest multilateral financier of climate action in developing countries. Through Connect4Climate, with its network of over 500 partners worldwide, the programme implements creative campaigns, amplifies impactful stories, elevates the voices of young people and mobilizes audiences through specific initiatives, including Film4Climate.Believing that powerful storytelling on both big and small screens can spark meaningful social change, Film4Climate works with filmmakers, producers and organizations to champion climate and environmental action in the film industry through both content and production.
The objective of the European Sustainability Award – Prix Film4Climate is to celebrate more than just films that are produced according to the most state-of the art sustainable standards, but to encourage the film industry to drive its influential impact towards a sustainable approach to economy, society and environment, promoting real impact in individuals' lives. The winner will receive a native tree from the country hosting the European Film Awards ceremony, that will be planted locally after the Award ceremony.
The Award is being presented by three European teenagers
The European Sustainability Award – Prix Film4Climate will be presented to the President of the European Commission by 3 young Europeans, Raluca from Romania, Ahmad from Sweden and Vilhjálmur from Iceland. They represent the younger generation that will be the most impacted by policies, decisions and actions taken today. Two of the presenters, Raluca and Ahmad, are part of the Youth Council that are co-creating the European Film Club, a programme to encourage teenagers to watch more European films. They have been planning sustainability measures within the European Film Club, such as the screening of films focusing on environmental issues such as climate change and the biodiversity crisis. The European Film Club will be launched in 2023 and aims to be a carbon-neutral programme.
The first European Film Award bestowed every year on a European film is the Young Audience Award, which is part of the European Film Club. This year’s award was given on 13 November by thousands of young jury members from all over Europe to the film ANIMAL by Cyril Dion. The film addresses the worries of young people about the 6th mass extinction of animal life that is currently taking place in nature, due to the behaviour of humankind.
European Film Academy strongly commits to sustainability
The Award ceremonies of the European Film Academy are strongly committed to promoting sustainability. Together with the hosting country Iceland, the Academy strives to reduce the carbon emission impact of all its events in 2022. With the organisation of the award ceremony in Reykjavík, also Iceland will showcase its leading role in sustainability. The event will happen within a sustainable event infrastructure that considers the best practices in terms of resource use, waste management, transportation, and catering for major events.
The European Film Academy is also raising awareness among Academy members and guests traveling to Iceland. The Academy is offering options to attendees who will be flying to offset their carbon emissions by donating an amount based on the estimated carbon offset for a return economy flight to Iceland with an average distance of 3,000 kilometers within Europe, which will support the planting of trees in the European Film Forest located in Iceland. This is coordinated by the Icelandic Forestry Association.
The introduction of the Month of European Film is another sustainability measure in the portfolio of the European Film Academy. By enabling European audiences to enjoy films in local cinemas or online in the month prior to the Awards ceremony, the impact of the celebration of European cinema is not limited to a one-location event anymore. The Month of European Film will expand and bring films from Europe closer to all Europeans, disregarding the place where they live and when or how they prefer to see films. Local initiatives with cinemas that are promoting sustainable solutions for the experience of watching films, will be prioritised as partners by the European Film Academy.
Hosting country Iceland leading in cultural, social and environmental sustainability
Iceland itself is a recognised and respected leader in cultural, social and environmental sustainability. The country has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030, becoming climate neutral by 2040, and fossil fuel free by 2050. Its ambitious goals are reinforced by its current energy production, which enables the supply of 100% of renewable energy for electricity and heating needs, mixing hydropower and geothermal energy.
In October 2020, the Icelandic Film Centre (IFC) published the “Icelandic Film Policy from 2020 to 2030”, disclosing important strategic actions set to boost the country’s audiovisual sector. Regarding sustainability and green shooting, the policy document mentions Iceland’s effort to build a brand to attract international film production by systematically developing a year-round film industry based on sustainability values, social responsibility, and equality, to meet the expectations of foreign production. The action started in January 2021, and the responsible parties are the IFC, the film industry, and the Foreign Service.