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Entertainment behind the scenes

Berlinale goes green…sort of

February 13, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival used to distribute tonnes of press releases, media kits, brochures and other information from filmmakers trying to get the attention of thousands of journalists every day, filling some 1,500 cubby-hole media mailboxes with piles of paper that few ever needed or read.

That all changed this year when Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick decided to abolish the paper practice and take a few other fledgling steps to protect the environment – such as switching lighting systems on the red carpet to use more energy efficient lights and using hydrogen-powered cars to shuttle celebrities to and fro.

“I’m a practising greenie,” Kosslick told a group of foreign journalists recently. “We decided to do away with the press mailboxes because they’re outdated and waste a lot of paper. Every day it seemed like paper the equivalent of 5 hectares of Brazilian rain forest was being distributed and most of it just thrown away. We had to dispose of all that paper in the evening. It just wasn’t right.”

Kosslick, who lives in a country where fears of climate change run high and protecting the environment is a mainstream political issue, admits the festival has a long way to go still and tried to downplay any notion that the festival was putting a big emphasis on going green.

“We need a lot of electricity on the red carpet, for instance, because it has to be well-lit,” he said. “This year we’re using some low-voltage lamps to try to save some energy.”
Kosslick, who has been running the festival for the last decade,  said the pro-environment changes at the festival were the result of the work of many of the filmmakers themselves.

“We couldn’t go on showing films that involve making the world a better place and then not do anything in that regard ourself,” he said.FILM-BERLIN/

Now if he could only get some of the celebrities and movie moguls to fly on commercial flights – or take the train — rather than arrive in private jets.

PHOTOS: Celebrities arriving for opening night of Berlin Film Festival with energy saving lighting being used this year to reduce CO2 emissions (above) while (below) Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick runs onstage.REUTERS/Thomas Peters (above) Fabrizio Bensch (below).

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