FERA held the internal webinar “AVMS Directive Implementation – What is at Stake for European Directors?” on 24 February 2021. The webinar was introduced by FERA Chair Klemen Dvornik and moderated by FERA CEO Pauline Durand-Vialle, gathering 49 participants from within our network.
It featured two case studies: a Focus on France presented by Rachid Hami and Romain Cogitore from SRF and Laurent Jaoui from Groupe 25 Images and a Focus on Greece presented by Eleni Chandrinou from the Greek Film Center, followed by a Snapshot of the Implementation Process Across Europe by Julie-Jeanne Régnault, EFAD’s Secretary General.
The exchange shed light on a broad range of opportunities and challenges brought about by the ongoing AVMS Directive transposition process in each Member State, offering FERA members the opportunity to discuss their local situation.
In addition to the minimum 30% threshold of European works to be featured in on-demand services catalogues, the possibility and level of on-demand services’ contributions to the local audiovisual production – particularly global streamers – is widely perceived as a key opportunity for local industries.
However, the transposition in national law of these obligations raises several issues and key principles need to be reminded to local governments and policymakers – including the essential importance of each country’s sovereignty in devising their own cultural policies for the audiovisual sector.
Article 13 of the revised AVMS Directive allows Member States to strengthen the financial resources of European audiovisual creation by incorporating on-demand services in their local production and distribution ecosystems – it certainly does not intend to divert such resources to international productions, to the detriment of selective support schemes which are the backbone of European audiovisual creation and related cultural policies. Such an approach could only result in weakening national and European productions’ visibility both on local as well as on international screens.
In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the reshuffling of the European audiovisual production and distribution market as global streamers are settling in, independent European audiovisual creation is potentially facing its most significant existential crisis yet. Ensuring that on-demand services contribute to a diverse national audiovisual ecosystem will allow for a diversity of creative voices to remain alive and thriving across Europe.
In addition, ensuring that global players with footprint in local production are engaging the creative community in full respect of authors’ rights might be an avenue to consider while discussing their overall obligations regimes – particularly as the 2019 EU Copyright Directive and its provisions touching to authors’ fair remuneration in contracts is also currently being transposed at national level.