Guest lecture by Pietari Kääpä on Environmental Film and TV Production

Guest lecture by Professor in Media and Communications Pietari Kääpä from the University of Warwick on ‘Environmental Film and TV Production: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Screen Industry Model’.

The lecture is open to all, but please sign up with Eva Novrup Redvall.

Environmental Film and TV Production: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Screen Industry Model

Pietari Kaapa (University of Warwick)

The ‘material turn’ in green media studies has extended the remit of ecocinema/media scholarship from focusing on the text to thinking about context – that is, the sustainable production and consumption of media. Such studies include Maxwell and Miller (2012), Starosielski and Walker (2017), Kaapa (2018), Vaughan (2019) and most recently Kaapa and Vaughan’s anthology (2022) on film and television production in the age of the climate emergency. The focus here is on policies and governance frameworks as well as the ways cultural considerations play out in the tangible practice of film and TV production.

Similarly, the film industry has developed sustainable practices over the past 10-15 years with more holistic governance mechanisms emerging in the past few years. These practices have taken a pragmatic approach where sustainability has been integrated into the existing structure of industry management and workflows in a way that conforms to the demands of these existing structures (largely dictated by the economic priorities of the sector).

Both approaches have pushed green thinking to the foreground of debates on responsible media industry practice but they also continue to view sustainability as an addition to 1) existing industry workflows, and 2) and the generation of disciplinary knowledge. While industry and disciplinary realities set the parameters for what is realistically achievable, envisioning new co-productive knowledge ventures and radical synergies between industry/academia offers an opportunity to rethink business-as-usual. Accordingly, I will outline strategies for more efficient co-production of knowledge between industry to better understand how the media industry can respond to the urgency of the climate emergency.


Pietari Kaapa is Professor in Media and Communications at the University of Warwick. He works in the field of environmental media studies with a focus on media management and production cultures studies. He has published widely in the field of environmental media studies, including Transnational Ecocinemas (Intellect 2013, with Tommy Gustafsson), Ecology and Contemporary Nordic Cinemas (Bloomsbury, 2014), Environmental Management of the Media: Industry, Policy, Practice (Routledge 2018) and Film and Television Production in the Age of Climate Change (Palgrave 2022) (with Hunter Vaughan). He is PI (with Vaughan, University of Cambridge) of the AHRC Global Green Media Network.