FERA 2022 throwback
2022 came to an end, and what was supposed to be a year for looking beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and towards recovery, turned out to be uniquely challenging. The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army spurred FERA to swiftly shift its priority and take coordinated action to assist in the implementation of initiatives in support to our Ukrainian colleagues.
At the FERA General Assembly annual conference 2022 held in Frankfurt, our first in-person gathering since 2019, powerful testimonies and experiences of filmmaking during and about military conflicts showed how culture remains an essential part of well-functioning democracies, and artistic freedom a cornerstone of meaningful European filmmaking policies – from regulation to public support at local, national, and European levels.
Advocacy work for the effective implementation of the 2019 Copyright Directive and monitoring of the belated transposition of Articles 18 and 23 into national laws remains a key priority of our agenda, as we continue to engage with policymakers and industry partners to set high standards for authors’ rights of European filmmakers.
FERA came together once again with the cross sectoral coalition of European authors to tackle unfair contractual practices experienced by creative workers and contributed to round-table discussions on the preservation of the European cultural model at a time of sea changes for the European audiovisual production and distribution market, as global streamers are on the rise.
2022 was also a year of renewal for our organisation, with the election of a new Executive Committee led by Chair of the board Bill Anderson (Directors UK) and Honorary President Jasmila Žbanić in May. We happily celebrated the 2022 LUX Audience Award which she received at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in June for her “Quo Vadis Aida?” in partner event “One Night in Strasbourg”, where Bill Anderson spoke and touched upon the essential cultural role of filmmakers in Europe today, stating “We don’t merely add to the value chain, we author the value”.
“A film consists of a beginning, a middle, and an end – though not necessarily in that order”,
Jean Luc Godard
2022 was also marked by the loss of daringly innovative and provocative director Jean-Luc Godard, a pioneer of the French New Wave movement “La Nouvelle Vague”, where filmmaking springs from the personality, predilection, and experimentation of the director, as well as from the social and political reflections that developed in the 1960s.
Moving away from the traditional filmmaking convention at the time , the Franco-Swiss director’s offbeat work changed the course of Cinema and reinvented storytelling for the screen.
“The films of Jean-Luc Godard have always been (and will always remain) an essential reminder that filmmaking should be a daring adventure, an artistic risk and go against the grain of popular opinion. Filmmaking is about honouring the classics and its storytelling laws, while at the same time obliterating them by going against all that has come before. This radical, destructive, while at the same time loving and creative approach is the only way forward for an art form: to keep cinema relevant and alive, one must reinvent it at every turn. That this can indeed be done, that it can result in new classics, and that audiences are continually enthralled by these new forms of films, is what Godard’s body of work has proven, and this is a huge encouragement for any new cinematic author. It has helped me keep focus throughout my career, at least, and stopped me from giving in to easy compromise.”
FERA Board member Martijn Winkler, Dutch Directors Guild.