FERA contributes to European Observatory Conference “Creators in Europe’s Screen Sector – Sketching Present and Future Challenges”
The International Hybrid Conference: Creators in Europe’s Screen Sector – Sketching Present and Future Challenges was held in Tallinn, Estonia, on June 7 under the auspices of the European Audiovisual Observatory and Estonia, which assumes its presidency in 2022.
The International Conference brought together industry professionals to examine the circumstances surrounding the production of audiovisual works affecting its creators as well as measures required in Europe to enhance the recognition, working conditions, and remuneration for European audiovisual creators.
Tere tulemast kõigile! – Welcome to everyone!
President of the Estonian Film Institute Edith Sepp‘s opening remarks framed the subsequent panel discussions on creators’ working lives and rights. As the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) celebrates its 30th anniversary, she advocated for providing more support to creators, enabling their work to adapt to a constantly evolving digital world and emphasizing that human creativity, which continues to be at the core of the audiovisual sector and culture, must not be destroyed by algorithms.
Gilles Fontaine, Head of Department for Market Information (EAO), shared data collected about directing and writing of films and TV fiction since 2015 in all EU Member States and the United Kingdom. He pointed out that there is no shortage of talent but possibly a significant waste of it: according to figures collected over the period 2015-2020, almost half of 100 directors who directed a live-action film are no longer active. To go further:
Part I –Times change: for the better?
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the vulnerability of European creators in a context that was already unstable as the audiovisual industry is undergoing structural changes, such as the rise in consumption of TV series and the emergence of new SVOD operators in Europe.
The first panel moderated by Edith Sepp shed light on first-hand experiences with Dmitriy Avksentiev, Ukrainian composer and director, Steen Bille, Danish novelist, Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, Icelandic Film Editor and Tanel Toom, Estonian Director. The discussion touched upon the massive pressure put by streamers and broadcasters on the audiovisual ecosystem as their business models are evolving, particularly on the development and production of new projects. Speakers highlighted the impact of the current production boom inflated by global streamers on audiovisual authors’ rights and artistic freedom in Europe.
Part II – Recognition, working conditions and remuneration
The second panel dived into new opportunities and roles of audiovisual creatives in the digital era, and the potential effects of the 2019 directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Maja Cappello‘s introductory presentation outlined three key elements for audiovisual creators: recognition, working conditions and remuneration. Replay available here.
The following panel moderated by Susanne Nikoltchev, Executive Director of the European Audiovisual Observatory, featured Pauline Durand-Vialle, Chief Executive Officer at Federation of European Screen Directors – FERA, Ivo Felt member of the board/ producer at Allfilm (Estonia), David Kavanagh, Executive Officer at the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe – FSE, Tõnn Lamp, Chair of the Estonian Federation of Actors, Burak Özgen General Counsel at European grouping of societies of Authors and Composers – GESAC, Johannes Studinger, Senior Executive and Head of European Services Workers Union – UNI MEI UNI Europa, and Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo, Board Member of the Estonian Association of Audiovisual Authors – EAAL.
The wide-ranging discussion focused on unfair contractual practices experienced by authors, performers, and creative workers on a daily basis, the impact of the fast-changing production landscape in Europe on audiovisual creators, the implementation in industry practice of the 2019 Copyright Directive provisions related to authors’ and performers’ contracts and how it could benefit the creation/production segment of the audiovisual value chain.
Replay of the conference available here:
To go further