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Still from a film showing two people looking at each other
Dr Itandehui Jansen, Lecturer in Film & TV at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), has been researching sustainable film practices as part of her new film, Itu Ninu.

The film is about an Indigenous climate migrant and explores the impacts of climate change. Supported by sustainable film production company, WE ARE ALBERT, Itandehui was able to source props and clothing from charity shops, use public transport for travelling to and from the set, and overall reduce the waste and impact a typical film production might have. 

Itandehui was part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council scoping project “Sustainable Materials in the Creative Industries” led by Dr Peter Oakley from the Royal College of Art, which explored sustainability issues in the creative industries. Of the project, Itandehui said: 

“I examined the use of materials in film production at multiple stages, ranging from logistics, to set design, costume design, and equipment. The research also examined what kind of sustainable approaches and solutions are currently being adopted by film practitioners.”

She continued: 

“WE ARE ALBERT provides a variety of resources and tools for sustainable film production in the UK. Inspired by this I wanted to try out diverse sustainable approaches in my own practice and explore through practice the ways in which the footprint of filmmaking can be reduced.” 

Cast members in Itandehui’s feature also felt it was important to approach topics of climate change and look at how film production can become more sustainable. 

Armando Bautista García said: 

“As a screenwriter I believe it is vital to tell stories about the ongoing environmental crisis. Stories can create awareness about climate justice and provide insights on how to navigate and understand the ongoing environmental breakdown. I think it is as important to reflect on how we tell those stories and to make sure that we work on reducing the environmental impact of filmmaking.”

The back of someone's head as they look at a small glass ball they are holding Image: Dr Itandehui Jansen

She continued: 

“WE ARE ALBERT provides a variety of resources and tools for sustainable film production in the UK. Inspired by this I wanted to try out diverse sustainable approaches in my own practice and explore through practice the ways in which the footprint of filmmaking can be reduced.” 

Cast members in Itandehui’s feature also felt it was important to approach topics of climate change and look at how film production can become more sustainable. 

Armando Bautista García said: 

“As a screenwriter I believe it is vital to tell stories about the ongoing environmental crisis. Stories can create awareness about climate justice and provide insights on how to navigate and understand the ongoing environmental breakdown. I think it is as important to reflect on how we tell those stories and to make sure that we work on reducing the environmental impact of filmmaking.”

Alejandra Herrera said: 

“I believe it is important to shoot like this because ecological issues also concern us artists. As creative people, artists can prove that the technology and its requirements do not need to be an impediment. A sustainable way of making cinema is possible here and now."

On the impact that this approach to filming could have on future filmmakers, Itandehui said: 

“I hope that the project can create more awareness on the relation between certain kinds of aesthetics and certain types of stories and the environmental impact of cinema. All studies on film and sustainability highlight that there is a correlation between budget and environmental impact. The higher the budget for a film, the larger the carbon footprint of the production. My hope is that particularly film students, who are the filmmakers of the future, consider more carefully what stories they wish to tell and in what ways.” 

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