Green Cinema: Relations between film and ecology

Relations between Film and Ecology

26th International Bremen Film Conference, 18 to 21 May 2022

This year’s conference explores the relationship between nature and film. The focus will be on recent and historical perspectives that examine film and cinema through an ecological lens. As early as the silent film era, depictions of landscapes and the cycles of nature were central to dramatic film narratives. Auteur films depict urban landscapes and develop ideas about living in and with nature. Nature documentaries and disaster films model natural beauty and destruction in equal measure. Today, even successful Hollywood musicals can be asked about their ecological footprint: on the one hand, they are part of the Californian film industry, which is known for its high environmental impact; on the other, they appear to be sustainable products because they are shown again and again in cinemas and on a wide variety of screens.

Green Cinema also considers sustainability in cinema culture and the film industry. How cinemas are designed and run as cultural venues affects their ecological footprint. The German Federal Film Board (FFA) has published a Green Cinema Guidebook. Ecological film productions are also explicitly promoted and subsidised. Green Cinema brings into focus the connections between aesthetics, the material world and ecological cycles.

Engaging with Green Cinema allows to experience nature and the environment, reveals past and present perspectives on nature, and enables a new, ecological orientation of film culture reconceived as natureculture. The conference invites international researchers, cinema professionals and audiences to explore the many facets of Green Cinema together.

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During the morning panels current academic contributions will be discussed. An interested audience is welcome. Admission is free. Participation also possible via Zoom-Link.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

18:00: Welcome

18:30: Keynote 1

Minimalist Cinema as Green Cinema:
an Example of Kiarostami's 24 Frames
   | Alice Kuzniar (Waterloo, Canada)
   | Film for Keynote: 24 Frames
   | Keynote in English 

20:00: Film for Keynote 1

   | 24 Frames
     IRN/F 2017, R.: Abbas Kiarostami, 114 Min., no language
     with introduction by Alice Kuzniar

Thursday, May 19, 2022

10:00: Panel 1: Forest and Landscape

10:00: Which System? The Forest as Topical Counterspace in Historical and Contemporary Cinema
   | Johannes Litschel (Freiburg)

10:45: Back to the nature – The Cinematic Ecotopia of Extinction
   | Katrin von Kap-herr (Potsdam)

11:25 – 11:40: Break

11:40: Between Humans and Nature in French and Scandinavian Silent Film
   | Simone Winkler (Zürich)
   | Film for Panel: Finis Terrae (FR 20.5 / 20:30)

12:25: Akira Kurosawa’s Dersu Uzala or The Wind That Blows Tracks Away
   | Tina Kaiser (Marburg)
   | Film for Panel: Dersu Uzala (DO 19.5 / 20:00)

14:30: Film for Keynote 2

  | Earth
    AT 2019, Regie: Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 115 Min., Deutsch/Englisch/Ungarisch Spanisch/Italienisch, OmdtU

17:00: Keynote 2

Cinema of our "Slightly Flawed Planet"
   | Jennifer Fay (Nashville)
   | Film for Keynote: Earth
   | Keynote in English

20:00: Film for Panel 1

  | Dersu Uzala
    UdSSR/JPN 1975, dir.: Akira Kurosawa, mit Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin, 144 Min., OmdtU
    with introduction by Tina Kaiser

Friday, May 20, 2022

10:00: Panel 2: Utopias/Dystopias of the Anthropocene

10:00: Cinematic Field Research – Signatures of the Anthropocene
   | Ulrike Wirth (Vienne)

10:45: Reflections on the Beauty of Nature in Film
   | Julian Hanich (Groningen)

11:25 – 11:40: Break

11:40: Illusionary Aesthetic Natural Spaces between Spectacular and Revealing Gestures
   | Jana Telscher (Berlin)

12:25: Lost Horizon – Climate Crisis and Cinematic Poetics of Non-analogue Futures
   | Matthias Grotkopp (Berlin)
   | Film for the Panel: Night Moves  (FR 20.5 / 22:30)

14:30: Film for Keynote 3

   | Singin in the Rain
USA 1952, dir.: Stanley Donen; Gene Kelly, mit Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, 103 Min., OmdtU
   | with introduction by Judith Keilbach (Utrecht)  & Skadi Loist (Potsdam)

17:00: Keynote 3

Greening Media: From Green Production to Sustainable Media Studies
   | Judith Keilbach (Utrecht) & Skadi Loist (Babelsberg)
   | Film for Keynote: Singin in the Rain (FR 20.5 / 14:30)

20:30: Film for Panel 1

   | Finis Terrae
     F 1928, dir: Jean Epstein, 80 Min, Stummfilm mit engl. Zwischentiteln
     with introdtuction by von Simone Winkler
   | with live music conducted by Ezzat Nashashibi

22:30: Film for Panel 2

   | Night Moves
     USA 2013, dir.: Kelly Reichart, with Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, 112 Min., OmdtU

Saturday, May 21, 2022

10:00: Panel 3: Media Ecologies

10:00: Virtual Environment(s): Nature Scenarios in Contemporary Media Art
   | Cecilia Preiß (Karlsruhe)

10:45: Film Nature: Nature in Cinematic Dissolution: Or, the Abstract Ecology of Cinematic-Sensual Perception of Nature
   | Philipp Blum (Zurich)

11:25 – 11:40: Break

11:40: Tentacular Encounters and Affective Attachments: Making Kin in The Octopus Teacher
   | Angelica Fenner (Toronto)
   | Talk in English

12:25: Cinematic Excess and (Un)Sustainable Ecologies in Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point
   | Paolo Saporito (Cork)
   | Talk in English

13:00: Workshop:How Can Cinema Be Made More Sustainable?

13:00: Birgit Heidsiek (FFA Consultant on Green Cinema) 
14:30: Wolfgang Würker (Capitol Kino Witzenhausen)

14:30: Film Programme: Leaves Tremble, Time Stands Still

   film:art 93
   | curated and presented by Christine Rüffert (Bremen)

16:00: Round Table
   | with Siegrid Kannengiesser (ZeMKI), Birgit Heitsiek & Wolfgang Würker
   | moderated by Holger Tepe

About the Film Conference

The Conference addresses a film-interested general audience and professional guests, closely interlinking public talks, film screenings and q&a discussions. It is a long-term cooperation between the CITY 46 / Kommunalkino Bremen e.V. and the workgroup Film Studies and Media Aesthetics / Dep. 9 Cultural Studies, part of ZeMKI, and is funded by nordmedia – Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/ Bremen mbH and the German Research Foundation DFG.

Date and Venue

18 to 21 May 2022

CITY 46 | Kommunalkino Bremen



Programm (PDF deutsch)

Programm (PDF english)

Abstracts Foren (PDF deutsch)





Contact and Information

Angela Rabing // Universität Bremen

Nils Gloistein // CITY46