1st Joint Communiqué

The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) has published its first joint communiqué since the World Conference of Screenwriters in Athens last November.

Together, we represent approximately 25,000 writers in 27 countries; together, we can best meet the challenges of our changing industry.

We plan to circulate periodic communiqués on matters of mutual interest in the areas of copyright, collective bargaining, collective licensing and the profile of the screenwriter.

The European Screenwriters Manifesto

Launched in February 2007, the Screenwriters Manifesto is available to read in English, and other languages, on the website of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe.  Signatures are regularly coming in. Show your support and sign the declaration of rights for screenwriters.

If you signed the Manifesto between February 2009 and January 2010, we may have lost your signature. Please do not hesitate to sign it again!

Joint Activity Programme – IAWG/FSE

The Board of the FSE and the PRG of the IAWG have discussed the strengthening working relationships between the two organisations, which have grown quickly following the solidarity campaigns of guilds around the world with their colleagues in the writers’ strike in the United States which ended in February 2008, and which will be further cemented during the first World Conference of Screenwriters in Athens in November 2009.

Recognising the limited resources of both organisations and the press of  many priorities but nonetheless determined to strengthen and deepen working relationships between our organisations in the interest of writers everywhere we have agreed that we will:

  1. Establish an information system on the FSE and IAWG websites to keep member guilds of each organisation informed of the activities of the other.
  2. Agree a system of exchange of information between guilds about topics of collective interest, by establishing and circulating a contact list of all the world’s writers’ guilds and by publishing and distributing an occasional global e-newsletter.
  3. Arrange to have observers at one another’s meetings.
  4. Set up a group to work together virtually to agree a glossary of basic terms related to writers, writing and their remuneration that could be agreed globally.
  5. Set up a group to work together virtually that would agree basic terms in respect of writers’ credits that could be agreed globally.
  6. Establish a joint campaign on the right to collective bargaining, beginning with an analysis of common problems.
  7. Establish a joint campaign on the future of collecting societies in the digital world, starting with an analysis of the relationship of writers’ guilds to collecting societies worldwide.
  8. Stand ready to support one another in the event of any crisis situation by appropriate solidarity activities.
  9. Take note of the debates and conclusions of the first World Conference of Screenwriters.
  10. Initiate a discussion about the desirability and practicality of establishing a global organisation for screenwriters.

World Screenwriters Declaration

In the new digitised and globalised world, we screenwriters have today come together, in Athens Greece, to discuss our central role in the creation of the stories that are carried with such impact to the world’s myriad screens and to people’s minds and hearts.

Stories influence our behaviour and shape our culture. They help us understand. Stories can conquer fear. Stories have power. As screenwriters, the storytellers of our time, we are conscious of our role and our responsibility and we have met to make sure that we can continue our work in the new environment.

The creative and financial challenges which we face, can only be met if we join forces and work together. We insist on the individual capacity of every one of the twenty five thousand screenwriters, whose representatives are gathered here, to see and understand the world in their own way and to reflect that unique perspective in their stories. We exult in the knowledge that individual creativity is what brings us together to defend and assert our common rights and goals.

We endorse the ambitions and intentions of the Charter of the FSE, the Charter of the IAWG and the Manifesto of the European Screenwriters.

We demand the right of screenwriters everywhere to be acknowledged as an author of the audiovisual work which they have written and to be fairly compensated for each and every use made of their work.

In pursuit of these objectives we will engage in active collaboration on campaigns that seek to achieve our common goals.

We pledge to work together to defend and extend the rights of writers for the screen.

Agreed and Signed on Saturday 7th November 2009 in Athens at the conclusion of the first World Conference of Screenwriters :

Christina Kallas
Federation des Scenaristes en Europe/Federation of Screenwriters in Europe

Michael Winship
International Affiliation of Writers’ Guilds

Participant profile: Francesco Ranieri Martinotti

On the eve of the conference it’s time to meet Italian film director Francesco Ranieri Martinotti.

Francesco Ranieri Martinotti

Francesco Ranieri Martinotti

Francesco is a film director, an independent producer and recently the director of Festivals such as France Odeon in Florence.

He started in the industry in the ‘90s and with his production company Iterfilm, and its films quickly won several awards, such as two David di Donatello, a Nastro d’Argento, the Prix du Jury at Montreal and the Prix du Publique at the Annecy Festival. His first feature film Abissinia (1993) also participated at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Sundance Film Festival.

His other films include Downdelions (1990), Artichokes will grow in Mimongo as writer and co-director with Fulvio Ottaviano (1997), Gills (1999), Ti lascio perché ti amo troppo (2007), and La seconda volta non si scorda mai (2008)

He is an active member of A.N.A.C. (Italian Author’s Guild) and co-founder of Venice Days, the new section of the Venice Film Festival.

Participant profile: Marcílio Moraes

We’re just in time to meet with Brazilian writer Marcílio Moraes.

Marcilio Moraes

Marcilio Moraes

Marcílio was born in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and writes short stories, novels and screenplays for television.

He has written for famous Brazilian soap operas (known as telenovels) like Roque Santeiro, Noivas de Copabacana, Mandala, and Roda de Fogo among others.

Recently he has written for the television series Vidas Opostas (2006 – 2007) and the sixteen-episode crime drama Lei e o Crime (2009).

He is also the President of the Associação dos Roteiristas (Screen Writers Guild).

Participant profile: Anne Hogben

We alight in England this morning to meet Anne Hogben.

Anne Hogben

Anne Hogben

Anne is the Deputy General Secretary of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, where she has worked for over ten years.  Every day she advises members on problems with  contracts, producers, broadcasters, agents, publishers and sometimes their fellow writers.  Addressing issues early on and having proper union minimum terms agreements in place prevents problems spiralling out of control. When disputes arise she handles the Guild’s screen credit arbitration process.

Most disputes arise from badly written contracts, faulty communication and poor preparation before a project even begins: this is the main reason why both the TV and Film Committee have spent a great deal of time preparing guidelines for writers. Delegates will find copies of both in their conference information packs.  If these guidelines are adhered to  the time, money, energy and human resources wasted on messy disputes can instead go to producing well-written and good quality film and television.

Anne also organises campaigns (such as the international day of solidarity for the striking members of the Writers’ Guild of America) and works directly with the Guild’s Film and Television Committees and Executive Council, where policy is decided.  She helps to organise lobbies at the Houses of Parliament with fellow entertainment unions (Equity Actors’ Union and the Musicians’ Union) and attends industry meetings and negotiations.  She liaises with the press and media.

Before working with the Guild Anne worked in education, publishing, event organising and journalism.  She has a degree in Philosophy and English from University College Cork.