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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Germany

Tatort Dortmund – Gier und Angst scoops the Eisvogel – Prize for Sustainable Production

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- Green consultant Roman Russo has picked up the €20,000 award for the TV crime series, which was produced in an eco-friendly fashion

Tatort Dortmund – Gier und Angst scoops the Eisvogel – Prize for Sustainable Production
Fritz Brickwedde (Heinz Sielmann Foundation) and Steffi Lemke (German Federal Ministry for the Environment) presenting green consultant Roman Russo (centre) with his Eisvogel – Prize for Sustainable Production

For the first time, the international Eisvogel – Prize for Sustainable Production has been given out at the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Berlin, Germany. Film and TV productions, series, and student films produced in an eco-friendly fashion, and hailing from all over the world, participated in the competition, duking it out for the accolade, worth €20,000. In the end, the Eisvogel Prize was awarded to German green consultant Roman Russo, who advised the team members working on the TV crime series Tatort Dortmund – Gier und Angst. He thus dispensed advice on saving energy and resources to people working in every department of the production.

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Thanks to an energy-saving camera and lighting concept, there was no need to use a diesel generator. While the series was shot with Sony’s FX6, which allows effortless filming in very low-light environments, the night shots were lit up with ARRI’s innovative Orbiter LED lighting system, which can easily be converted from a soft light to a spotlight. Instead of renting diesel trucks for the transportation of the equipment, the production used a 7.2-ton lorry with a CNG-powered (compressed natural gas) engine so that the heavy equipment could be transported almost emission-free.

“We also had a solution to avoid any food waste on set,” says Roman Russo. “Every team member received a lunch box and could take the left-overs home in the evening.” When principal photography began, every cast and crew member received a water bottle and a lunch box as a welcome gift. Due to these various measures, the production saved about 50 tons of carbon emissions.

The Eisvogel – Prize for Sustainable Production competition was launched by the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Germany and the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung in cooperation with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media and the Producers’ Alliance. “Sustainable media production is an important topic and has been for several years,” says Steffi Lemke, from the Federal Ministry for the Environment. “The film industry can reduce its carbon footprint by about 40% by using innovative and resource-saving production measures.”

Also among the titles that were submitted by production companies for the Eisvogel competition, there were some student films. For the next Eisvogel competition, there will be a Green Newcomer Award. The event will take place during the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival, and the call for submissions will be launched in autumn this year.

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