On May 22, the Higher Education Roundtable convened to continue an ongoing discussion about integrating sustainable production into film programs, so students can get a jump start on reducing the impact of the industry.
Reel Green has been working with some of the top academic institutions in the Lower Mainland that offer courses and accreditation in film and the motion picture industry. This meeting included educators and administrators from Langara, BCIT, Vancouver Film School, Capilano University, Emily Carr, SFU, UBC, and the Directors Guild of Canada, and began with a presentation from Rohina Dass, a UBC Student and representative from UBC’s Climate Hub, for inspiration on what can be done on campus.
The Climate Hub launched in 2018, and it is a place where students who have ideas for climate action can come, get excited, and find resources, connection, and empowerment. The Climate Hub values storytelling, youth, community, hope, and justice. The goal is to change the doom and gloom narrative, and lend agency to students. Dass emphasized the importance of building the community at the Climate Hub, and bringing people in who may not already have an interest in climate change.
One barrier to instituting something like the Climate Hub at some film focused institutions is that they are smaller, have fewer resources, and the programs have shorter timelines, so students do not have much time to establish such groups. Participants discussed alternatives and solutions that could work for such programs. For instance, a program could have students up-cycle the PGA Green Best Practices, which are based on large scale film and television production, and adapt them to better suit smaller scale student productions. This would also provide a valuable resource for future classes.
Another idea brought forward is to have students calculate the carbon footprint of their productions. Reel Green is licensing BAFTA’s albert carbon calculator for use here in British Columbia, and being familiar with calculating production footprints will be an asset as more and more, productions require it.
The group also discussed reaching out to more schools across North America, such as the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, to share ideas and collaborate on further solutions.
The roundtable will take a break over the summer and reconvene in the fall, once the new semester has begun.