MattBrierleyWildlife MattBrierleyWildlife

A short opinion piece from one of our members:


When the news broke that no production entered into Wildscreen 2020 had won the new sustainable GREEN PANDA I was enthralled, dismayed, disheartened and optimistic. 

Enthralled because it was a bold and brave move for an awards ceremony – with all the trappings of glitz and glamour one would expect from something dubbed the Green Oscars – to say to productions in a public forum you aren’t doing enough. And perhaps productions aren’t. Counting up your air miles and writing a report of contrition will not save Planet Earth, will not safeguard the very wildlife we need to save to film. 

I was dismayed because, for this decision to be reached, it suggests industry systems that quantify sustainability – like Albert the Carbon Calculator – must, presumably, have been considered flawed by the panel. Surely someone out there took the time to explain they’d used Albert when they submitted their films and, if they had, shouldn’t an industry standard have been enough to warrant the award? 

The disheartening bit was I couldn’t help but think celebrating the conservation films made on next to no budget would have been appropriate. Films that have grand designs to change the world, to tell conservation stories. Films which by their very virtue of being shoe-string, minute for minute in terms of screen time, have the smallest of carbon footprints. Films that had reported efforts to minimise those footprints further when they submitted to the festival. 

So, to those of you who made green films on a tight but sustainable budget; well done. Be optimistic. For just now yours are the greenest films of all. Well done to Wildscreen for shaming the big boys; I hope they listened – just don’t forget the little folk doing their very best to blaze a pioneering trail and make a difference.

Matt Brierley
FF:W Content subgroup member.

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