FERA General Assembly Statement 2017
“Directors: Shaping our Future”
Brussels, September 28 2017
« The Digital Shift in film and television represents an important opportunity for Directors – provided they can secure their rights and status in the new emerging digital model. » That was the message to emerge from this weekend’s General Assembly of the Federation of European Film Directors, held in Zurich.
Distribution consultant and author of the « Film Disruptors » Alex Stolz (www.alexstolz.com) closed his keynote speech on the digital shift by urging delegates to be bold : « Now is no time for the cautious, the mediocre, the safe. Powerful, original stories are essential for your work to stand out in an over-saturated market. »
Fair remuneration in the digital era
After discussing further the impact of the digital shift on their craft and rights, delegates voiced their determination to see the adoption of FERA’s much-needed remuneration proposals in the EU copyright package currently before the European Parliament and Council. The Assembly expressed its concern that most directors face unstable incomes that are very modest, and must therefore rely on secondary income from their rights in order to secure their livelihoods and careers.
FERA Members committed to mobilize around the proposals, so that the Copyright Directive’s provisions for fair remuneration in contracts is made fit-for-purpose (so-called « transparency triangle »). FERA will also push to ensure the specific needs of audiovisual authors’ regarding remuneration for the online use of their works are taken into account, and that the Regulation on online transmissions includes a fix to the « direct injection » loophole used by certain broadcasters and distributors to refuse to pay creators.
Newly re-elected FERA Chair Dan Clifton commented : « Directors are already embracing the digital shift with confidence that the voice of storytellers will always finding a central place – but we must ensure that in the emerging future, the new channels of distribution ensure we are fairly paid for our work. »
Exclusive Territorial Licensing remains essential
The Assembly also reiterated its concerns regarding the erosion of territorial exclusivity in the EU copyright reform proposals. With territorial licensing a cornerstone for the financing, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works, this principle is an essential prerequisite of European cultural diversity.
After hearing a report from Marion Döring, Director of the European Film Academy, FERA delegates again voiced their strong opposition to the continued illegal detention of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov in Siberia, with members committing to retain pressure on the Russian authorities via their national governments and EU institutions.
Members of the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) from 23 countries gathered in Zürich, Switzerland on September 22 through 24th for its annual General Assembly kindly hosted by the Swiss Directors Association ARF/FDS with the support of Suissimage, SSA (Société Suisse des Auteurs) and Swissperform.
FERA Executive Committee 2017-2019
Sir Alan PARKER – Honorary President
Dan CLIFTON – Chair (UK)
Sverre PEDERSEN – Honorary Treasurer (Norway)
Karolina BIELAWSKA – co-opted (Poland)
Peter CARPENTIER (Germany)
Klemen DVORNIK (Slovenia)
Hrvoje HRIBAR – co-opted (Croatia)
Lou JEUNET (France)
Alberto SIMONE – co-opted (Italy)
Birgitte STÆRMOSE (Denmark)
Martijn WINKLER (Netherlands)