New Year New Look

WCOS assemblyWe’re well into 2010 at this point, so it’s time to open up the windows on the Conference site, and change the linen.

I’ve updated the site to different look, and the new banner is courtesy of the lovely Amélie Clement, who continues to work for the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe with dedication.

There is also a gallery section on the site, featuring photos from the conference, and the press section now contains links to articles that were written about the conference.

I hope it will bring back good memories of the conference, recall fellowship and solidarity, and serve as a reminder that there is much work yet to accomplish.


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

Cocktail farewell

CocktailParticipants of the conference are invited to a Cocktail reception on the 10th floor of the Titania Hotel at 8pm.

Enjoy a drink with your colleagues before you say goodbye.

This afternooon’s activities

Lunch ends at 2.30pm, and the next panel runs until 3.30pm.

WRITERS RESPONSE I: Interventions on writers issues
• Chuck Slocum, associate executive director of the WGA West will outline the American deal following the strike
Robert Staats, managing director of VG Wort will examine the complex question of reciprocity and multi-territory licences
• Cécile Despringre, executive director of SAA, the new organisation of Audiovisual Authors’ collective management societies in Europe, will talk about European collective management societies’ collaboration to improve writers’ remuneration
• Maureen Parker, executive director of WGC will discuss the issue of collection from the writers perspective looking at how and what to collect? How can writers best arrange to collect what is paid to them?

The following panel will run from 3.30pm – 4.30pm.

WRITERS RESPONSE II: What are the key issues for writers?
What are the key issues for writers in the context of the scenarios outlined over the last day and an half? How can writers enhance their status worldwide?
• Lowell Peterson, executive director of WGA East (chair)
• Tim Pye, president of the AWG
• Bernie Corbett, general secretary of the WGGB
• Peter Henning, board member of the VDD
• Daniele Cesarano, president of SACT
• Olivier Lorelle, president of UGS
• Marcilio Moraes, president of the Screenwriters Association of Brazil
• Leora Kamenetzky, chair of the Scriptwriters Guild of Israel

A coffee break will last until 5pm, and the final session will last until 5.30pm.

Closing session: GLOBAL RESPONSE
• Christina Kallas, president of the FSE
• Michael Winship, chair of IAWG/President of WGA East

This morning’s agenda

The bus will leave at 9am in front of the Titania hotel.

The first session will take place from 9.30am – 10.45am

CONGLOMERATES AND OTHER PLAYERS I: Role of the multinational conglomerates in the digital future
Will the multinational conglomerates continue to dominate production and distribution worldwide or will the telecoms, ISPs etc. step in in the digital world? Will smaller companies have any real opportunities in the context of lower production costs and lower costs to enter online distribution? Will independent producers, sales agents, distributors, broadcasters and other players change their behaviour in response?
• David Kavanagh, FSE board member (chair)
• Cameron McCracken, deputy managing director of Pathe
• Frederik Stege, head of legal affairs of TrustNordisk
• Chuck Slocum, assistant executive director of WGA West

Immediately afterward, from 10.45am – 11.30am:


• Jacqueline Woodman, executive director of the AWG will consider whether the aspirations of the multinational conglomerates can be understood through an examination of trade agreements particularly bilateral agreements.
• Dr. Eva Inés Obergfell, professor of law at the RWTH Aachen University will address the issue of how consumers will pay for product – the German Green proposal for a flat rate for culture and other models.

The coffee break is from 11.30am to noon.

Followed by the next panel from noon to 1.30pm:

SECOND DEBATE: Has the independent production model failed?
Has the Independent Producers System Failed and What Are the Alternatives? Development i.e. Notes and Moral Rights – How Do we develop and does it ensure Original Writing?
• Gino Ventriglia, FSE board member (chair)
• Milcho Manchevski, writer/director, Razvan Radulescu, writer, Peter Mohan, writer/producer, Jan Sardi, writer, Stefano Rulli/Nicola Lusuardi, writers, Robin Swicord, writer, Larry Karaszewski, writer

Lunch will take place from 1.30pm – 2.30pm.

Day one: overview

SGC–SGIDay one of the conference is now over. It’s been a long day, with lively debates about the state of the film and television industries, the advent of new media, and prognostications about their future(s).

At times people became passionate about the subject, which is a good reaction, because this is something in which we are invested: artistically for some, and commercially for others. And, as always, the clash happens when the two worlds of creativity and finance collide.

Hopefully, tomorrow we can engage further on the topics and explore solutions.

The conference twitter hashtag is #wcos and the twitter stream can be followed here live. Several of the participants have been posting their thoughts on the panels, and you can expect more tomorrow.