Environmentally conscious moviegoers in the mood for a sappy romance about a mail order bride set in rural 1920s Minnesota can breathe a carbon dioxide-laden sigh of relief–your movie has arrived.
Sweet Land, a "sweet gem," premieres in D.C. today. The film is totally carbon neutral: Moviemakers offset 8,000 tons of carbon emissions by "investing in a reforestation project in Germany and windmills and compact fluorescent lighting in Jamaica" at a cost of $10,000.
"For me, it's less of a political statement about global warming, and more just, there's got to be a nicer, cleaner way to do this," said film director and writer Ali Selim.
Mimizing their carbon footprint also minimized costs:
Filming in Montevideo, Minnesota, population 5,346, Selim used sunlight instead of film lights whenever possible during shooting and had actors carpool to the set instead of driving on their own. He kept them at the location rather than paying to have them fly back and forth.
He also used the practice of "shooting out" each location before moving on to the next, that is, getting every necessary shot, so that transporting the entire costly enterprise from one place to another was kept to a minimum.
No word on how filmmakers plan to offset increased use of Kleenex by teary women nationwide.
The film was made for about $1 million, and will undoubtedly benefit from some free publicity about their carbon-conscious filmmaking techniques. Which goes to show that you don't have to be a big company like Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, or McDonald's to "do well by doing good."