TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

Green TFL: how can we rethink our industry?

TFL Green

Green TFL: how can we rethink our industry?

May 22, 2020

It is time for change. For years now, we have been witnessing a shift in the world and the way we relate to it: sustainability, diversity, inclusivity and gender equality are some of the topics that can no longer be ignored. As an international laboratory, it is in our DNA to question the practices and models guiding our industry. This is why TFL has been engaged, and will continue to contribute to the exchange of ideas about how to deal with the current needs of our globalised society.


The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has acted as a trigger for many businesses, forcing them to entirely rethink their work practices. In the case of TFL, the restrictions put in place by the local authorities, and the necessity of ‘social distancing’, have led us to move our workshops online, starting with the programme ScriptLab.

“Moving ScriptLab online was a real test for us, explains TFL Managing Director Mercedes Fernandez. Would we be able to adapt our structure – carefully crafted and developed over the last 13 years – into the digital format, guaranteeing the quality of training we are aiming for, as well as fruitful encounters for the participants? The challenge was to keep the sense of timing and togetherness of the residential workshops. At the same time, we could clearly identify new strengths and opportunities: we were able to curate masterclasses by trainers from all over the world, connecting from their homes, but also to adapt and adjust more quickly along the way.”

With the first ScriptLab residential workshop moved online (it was originally planned to take place in Lviv, Ukraine), 47.1 tons of CO2 were saved by cutting out international flights. This fact was also an encouraging factor in the creation of TFL’s new digital scheme, TFL Next: an innovative teaching approach, totally held online, aiming at empowering a new generation of agile-thinking and innovative filmmakers. The participants in the TFL Next workshops get the chance to immerse themselves in a truly global experience, sharing with international experts and peers, travelling over live barriers, at a minor economic and ecological cost.

These are just some of the actions put in place by TFL in the last few weeks. However, TFL has been engaged in this discussion for years now: first through a careful evaluation of its working practices and impact of its events, but also with concrete actions taken to limit its carbon footprint, such as reducing the printed material and the use of plastic, as well as encouraging the use of compostable materials.

In 2019, TFL undertook a further step with two major novelties organised within the frame of its co-production forum TFL Meeting Event. The first was the creation of the Opening Event keynote “We Need to Talk About…”, questioning existing practices in the film industry. The first edition focused on responsibility and involved key players of the field: Naima Abed (Memento Films International – France), Julia Oh (Film4 – United Kingdom) and Giona Nazzaro (Venice International Film Critics’ Week – Italy). What concrete actions can we take, as individuals, companies and organisations, to adapt our working practices to this new world?

The second novelty was the TFL White Mirror, a development prize of € 3.000. This writing grant was specifically created to support stories tackling environmental issues, sustainability or any related changes happening in today’s world, through a personal and engaging tone. The TFL White Mirror 2019 was assigned during the TFL Meeting Event to the ScriptLab project WILD ENCOUNTER by Sarah Arnold.

TFL will continue, in an open discussion with its Pedagogical Team, to focus even more deeply on the issue of change for the future. Another way to achieve this will be through the integration of dedicated speakers and trainers sharing good practices within its 3 main training programmes: ScriptLab, FeatureLab and SeriesLab. Raising awareness during TFL’s training activities, combined with creating dedicated funding and implementing good practices in the workplace is the result of the holistic approach that TFL has adopted to deal with this issue. These are small but significant steps to reduce the environmental impact on our planet.