Sustainability Policy

Organizing a festival has a big impact on the environment. Ostend Film Festival (FFO) is well aware of this and for many years has been committed to organizing the ten-day festival of film in a sustainable way. 

Inspired by the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set by the United Nations in 2015 as the new global sustainable development agenda for 2030, FFO is committed to a sustainable future with a focus on people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. 

By publishing its efforts and sustainable initiatives on its website, FFO aims to inspire and motivate its audience, as well as other organizers. Moreover, it also encourages its employees and volunteers to implement sustainability in the workplace through the tips below. Will you read along?

What does the Ostend Film Festival?

  • FFO provides various discount rates (youth, seniors), partners with Uitpas (opportunity rate), and uses a festival pass that allows you, for ten days, to go to the movies inexpensively and unlimitedly;
  • FFO donates materials such as t-shirts and totebags to local recycling initiatives.
  • FFO strives to provide catering that is always precisely tailored to the estimated number of attendees;
  • FFO donates surplus food to organizations such as the food bank;
  • FFO provides vegetarian and vegan alternatives in catering for employees and guests.
  • FFO encourages its employees and festival attendees to walk, take public transport or ride their bikes to the office or festival sites. The festival also rents bicycles for its employees during the festival;
  • FFO encourages drinking water by providing a water dispenser in the offices, as well as doppers;
  • FFO encourages its staff to eat fruit by providing a weekly fruit basket;
  • FFO has an internal point of contact for all staff-related questions, employees can also view this point of contact as a confidant for questions concerning mental well-being in the workplace
  • FFO takes into account the youngest film lovers and organizes a family day, with workshops, games,... in collaboration with Ketnet and JEF;
  • FFO provides a qualitative educational programme for schools;
  • FFO provides an extensive range of industry events for students and film professionals including talks, master classes, panel discussions, speed dates and opportunities for meetings. You can find the full industry program at Industry & press
  • FFO is committed to gender equality within its team as envisioned in its charter of diversity and inclusion;
  • FFO firmly believes in the power of film to bring forth positive social change. FFO constantly strives for diversity and the broadest possible reflection of society within its programming. FFO has an LGBTQIA+ and Leading Ladies label;
  • FFO pays attention to gender balance in the selection of filmmakers and juries;
  • FFO aims to contribute to public and media sensibility by supporting diverse talent.
  • FFO encourages its employees to drink tap water. On top of that, a Sipwell water dispenser is present;
  • FFO provides refillable doppers for its employees.
  • FFO uses Belgian green electricity;
  • FFO limits energy consumption by using LED lights and working as little as possible with tents, which require heating;
  • FFO each year trains interns who gain a first work experience at the festival;
  • FFO provides growth opportunities and clear statutes;
  • FFO strongly encourages the return of temporary workers and assists them in the search for an additional job for the other months of the year;
  • FFO cooperates with the Oesterbank, an employment organization that involves disadvantaged workers in the coastal region through a modified employment process.
  • FFO can count on the infrastructure of Kinepolis Oostende, Kursaal Oostende, De Grote Post and local businesses for the organization of the festival;
  • FFO invests in data structures (Asana, Eventival, Ticketmatic,...) to work even more digitally;
  • FFO switched from physical print traffic to digital distribution for the transport of the film copies;
  • FFO uses nearby parking facilities to minimize the number of shuttles.
  • FFO programs films from all over the world;
  • FFO is an inclusive exhibitor and provides Dutch subtitles and audio descriptors where possible for the blind and visually impaired as well as the deaf and hard of hearing;
  • FFO partners with Uitpas and provides an opportunity fee.
  • FFO communicates throughout the year everything that is going on in the Flemish film landscape and connects a community of film lovers and professionals;
  • FFO works together with public transport companies De Lijn/NMBS to encourage visitors to come to the festival by public transport.
  • FFO is in direct contact with the Ostend hotel and catering industry and the tradespeople of Ostend through the Ostend Tourism Office.
  • FFO makes purchases in a sustainable way (local, short chain, etc.);
  • FFO distributes the digital version of the brochure through ISSUU and actively promotes it;
  • FFO uses red carpets that are 100% recyclable;
  • FFO ensures the pickup and recycling of as much festival material as possible (red carpet, printed materials, etc.).
  • FFO opts, where possible, for neutral branding in its house style, so that promotional material can be used for several years (flags, nada sleeves, etc.);
  • FFO always checks, for all its printed material (paper, textiles, etc.), whether the printer prints in a sustainable manner and whether its products carry an eco-label;
  • FFO provides CO2 compensation when booking flights through Treecological, an initiative of the Flemish NGO Bos+, which is committed to forest conservation, better forest and more forest in Flanders and the world.
  • FFO, as a film festival on the North Sea, always implements the themes of the sea, marine life and everything that comes with it in its programming, think of documentaries, fiction films, short films that raise awareness about themes such as sustainable fishing, the plastic soup issue to the lives of fishermen, past and present.
  • FFO limits the use of plastic in the organization of the festival.
  • FFO reduces paper consumption (e.g. pay slips digitally) where possible and asks partners to always send invoices digitally and encourages employees and visitors to use as little paper as possible and works with "Bambook" for this purpose;
  • FFO is strongly committed to recycling in the office and at festival sites.
  • FFO makes itself accessible and available to the film community and sector and often collaborates with embassies in the context of film promotion.

As a visitor, which steps can you take for a sustainable visit to the film festival?

  • Sustainable travel

    • Come to the festival by public transport, by bike or on foot. Ostend Film Festival, together with SNCB and De Lijn, offers a discounted rate;
    • Or carpool with your friends and family.
    • Consult the accessibility of our locations..
  • Less waste

    • Buy your tickets online and bring them digitally to each screening;
    • Explore our program digitally and take care of your paper brochure;
    • Don't leave trash on the festival grounds.
  • Eat local and healthy at the Festival Café

    • Choose local dishes;
    • Choose vegetarian or vegan options.
  • Raise awareness

    • See someone throw a can or cigarette butt on the ground? Address this person in a friendly and constructive manner.
    • Do you have friends or family planning to attend the festival? Please share the above tips.

Which steps are our employees taking?

At FFO, we do our part for the environment, and we encourage our employees to do the same. Following are some sustainability tips for the workplace!