Inspired by Cannes, QCinema aims to take lead in eco-friendly cultural events

The QCinema International Film Festival (QCIFF) is not only a platform to showcase the best of Philippine and world cinema, but it’s also an eco-friendly cultural event that promotes sustainability.

According to a study titled “Setting the Stage for Sustainability: An Environmental Impact Baseline Study of QCinema International Film Festival,” the QCIFF has created a positive impact on the environment during its run.

The study found a high level of climate change awareness among QCIFF attendees. It noted that 70 percent of respondents had a high awareness of climate change issues and almost 86 percent rated climate change as an essential issue.

Likewise, 72.92 percent strongly supported climate change efforts despite less than half (48.03 percent) being moderately involved in activities contributing to climate change solutions.

It further said that 64.63 percent of the respondents were willing to pay a sustainability fee on top of the ticket price.

Filmmaker Mark Meily, project coordinator Chantel Garcia, Quezon City Film Commission executive director Liza Diño, QC Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department head Andrea Villaroman, Dr. Michael Kho Lim, Manet Dayrit and Ed Lejano.

When it comes to its ecological impact, the data showed that some 60 percent of the audience consumed food bought from establishments at the venues, and 76 percent consumed mostly water and soda, generating solid waste from popcorn, chips, water bottles, and soda cans.

Apart from its sustainability efforts, the said study also looked into the event’s impact on the entertainment industry. The results showed that over 84 percent viewed the event as a pivotal educational platform while a total of 92 percent highly rated the festival’s contribution to appreciation of the art and craft of filmmaking.

It can also be noted from the data that more than 85 percent of the respondents highly rated QCIFF’s contribution to producing high-quality films.

Further, the study revealed that film festivals are perceived to have a significant impact on the country’s economy. Seventy-three percent of the respondents underscored the festival’s significant role in economic stimulation, potentially boosting local spending, tourism, and employment opportunities generated by the event.

The study, which examined how cultural and creative industries impact on sustainability, was funded by the University of Glasgow (UofG) Glasgow Centre for International Development in partnership with the UPLB Foundation, Inc.

There were a total of 229 individuals who responded to the survey. They were asked about their festival viewing habits, level of awareness on climate change issues, willingness to act towards climate action, and perception of the festival’s economic and cultural impact.

Lead researcher Michael Kho Lim remarked that “there is an urgent need to adopt sustainable festival practices,” citing the Philippines as a country that hosts numerous festivals.

“Many studies have shown that mounting these events considerably negatively impacts our environment. It is high time other organizers followed suit and took significant steps that could drive the cultural and creative industries towards a greener and more sustainable future,” he added.

“This initiative to establish baseline data is the first step towards creating a possible environmental management plan and sustainability framework for the festival. This can form the basis of similar plans and frameworks for other cultural and creative activities in the country,” the press statement read.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte cited the study by Lim and his team, including Assistant Prof. Katrina Tan and Prof. Eduardo Roquiño as co-researchers, as one that goes beyond just a research study because it is also “a visionary effort.”

“It lays the groundwork for assessing the environmental impact of cultural events, identifying areas for improvement in Cinema’s footprint, and developing strategies for communication and collaboration around climate action,” mentioned Belmonte in a speech.

She also stated that the results-based approach of the study is aligned with the city’s commitment to data-driven decision-making and further enumerated the local government efforts in implementing the vision of the city to be “a livable, green, and sustainable city.”

“Inspired by the Cannes Film Festival’s sustainability efforts, QCinema is poised to become a leader in eco-friendly events,” she asserted.

“This is an opportunity for us to set a new standard for cultural events, making cinema a model of environmental responsibility and inspiring other festivals worldwide to follow suit. It will not just be a celebration of film but a demonstration of our commitment to a sustainable future.”

Belmonte concluded her speech by saying that they will continue to “make the lights of cinema and our other cultural events brighter and more sustainable” and explore more on how film festivals can become leaders in eco-friendly cultural events. “Let us work together — lights, camera, and action for sustainability.”