Posted on 4th August 2022

Wildside Productions brings albert certification to the Venice Film Festival

Wildside productions have two albert certified films going to this year's Venice Film Festival, read on for a deep dive into the production process of one of them - Siccità

Paolo Virzi is known internationally for his comedy-drama films, and his latest film Siccità (which literally translates to ‘Drought’) has sustainability baked into both the story, and production.

With an all-star cast led by Monica Belluci, the premise of Siccità centers around a contemporary Rome in which it hasn’t rained for three years, and follows a group of characters dealing with the new customs and regulations which come along with a water shortage. Siccità is the first example of an Italian film which has made a push for a sustainable production, this is important because while there has been a great uptake of sustainable practices in the TV world, film still has a long way to go, (strides are being made with albert certified 1917 being a prime example!). Furthermore, Siccità is also an example of a film using the consequences of climate change as a main element in its story.

We sat down (over Zoom) with Carla Bernardin, Sustainability Manager on Siccità, about the changes they implemented during the shoot to make it one of Italy’s greenest productions to date.

The sustainability push began at the start of the production with a green memo, and then Carla started talking to suppliers about sustainability.

This was a fairly difficult process, because sustainability is a new field in Italy, and those who work in the film industry are not used to the process and time constraints along with implementing these new ways of working, meaning suppliers weren’t always keen.

Despite this, Carla felt quite empowered to make requests of the different departments on the film.

It’s always difficult to get the result, but that doesn’t matter, it’s about getting people to see why it’s important - They’re not used to it, and in a lot of these departments, it’s the first time they’ve experienced sustainable practice, so it can be seen as a big risk.

— Carla Bernardin, Production Manager on Siccità

Changes which Carla helped implement included the elimination of plastic bottles, paper and using low energy LED lighting, these considerations aren’t usually the norm when it comes to productions in Rome.

The actors also travelled to set via train rather than plane, and all costumes were either rented, or bought second hand. Catering was another area where sustainable considerations were made. No plastic was used and all food packaging was compostable.

An unprecedented amount of the catering was vegetarian. Carla spoke to the chief of catering before production began and requested more vegetarian options throughout the shoot. 28% of the food used in the production ended up veggie, which again is rare for an Italian production.

Additionally, the production also offset its footprint using albert’s creative offsets scheme.

The efforts made by the team of Siccità slowly and steadily turned it into a sustainable production. Carla started the conversations and implemented what was possible at the time, meaning in the next production, a much larger push can be made.

Additionally, another Wildside (and albert certified) production, L’immensità, starring Penélope Cruz, is screening in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival while Siccità is screening out of competition. We wish them the best of luck!

Find out more about Wildside Productions at their website.