Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, will accept the newly introduced European Sustainability Award – Prix Film4Climate on behalf of her organization at the 35th European Film Awards on Dec. 10 in Reykjavík, Iceland. The award is given to the European Green Deal, a program launched by the commission under von der Leyen’s presidency.

The award aims to honor a European institution, company or film for an “outstanding European contribution to sustainability in film.” The initiative is a partnership between the European Film Academy and the World Bank Group’s program for creative communications and climate action, Connect4Climate.

Connect4Climate, with its network of over 500 partners worldwide, implements creative campaigns, amplifies impactful stories, elevates the voices of young people and mobilizes audiences through specific initiatives, including Film4Climate. Film4Climate works with filmmakers, producers and organizations to champion climate and environmental action in the film industry through both content and production.

The objective of the European Sustainability Award is to celebrate more than just films that are produced according to the most state-of the art sustainable standards, but to encourage the film industry to drive its influential impact towards a sustainable approach to economy, society and environment, promoting real impact in individuals’ lives. The winner will receive a native tree from the country hosting the European Film Awards ceremony, which will be planted locally after the award ceremony.

The award will be presented to von der Leyen by three young Europeans: Raluca from Romania, Ahmad from Sweden and Vilhjálmur from Iceland. They represent the younger generation that will be the most impacted by policies, decisions and actions taken today. Two of the presenters, Raluca and Ahmad, are part of the Youth Council that are co-creating the European Film Club, a program to encourage teenagers to watch more European films. They have been planning sustainability measures within the European Film Club, such as the screening of films focusing on environmental issues such as climate change and the biodiversity crisis. The European Film Club will be launched in 2023 and aims to be a carbon-neutral program.

The first European Film Award bestowed every year on a European film is the Young Audience Award, which is part of the European Film Club. This year’s award was given on Nov. 13 by thousands of young jury members from all over Europe to Cyril Dion’s “Animal.” The film addresses the worries of young people about the sixth mass extinction of animal life that is currently taking place in nature, due to the behavior of humankind.

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