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

Participant profile: Lars Boom

We leave Greece temporarily to travel to the Netherlands to meet Lars Boom.

Lars Boom

Lars Boom

Lars Boom has been writing since 1990 for television, film and theatre.

In theatre he has written musical plays like the award-winning In the shadow of Brel (about Jacques Brel through the eyes of his driver and friend Jojo) and two libretti for opera: Van Gilse and Slauerhoff, the Dutch poet.

Lars has also written about 100 episodes for comedy serials such as: Zeg ‘ns Aaa, Oppassen, Victorie, Sam Sam, Flodder, Bradaz and Sprint; drama and police serials Westenwind, DOK 12 en Baantjer; and a variety of drama formats for companies like Eyeworks and Endemol.

His feature film screenplays include Frans, a man with mental damage who runs away with his favourite pig because of the swine flu, and Rikshawboy, a romantic comedy about a Rikshawboy from India who becomes a cyclist in The Netherlands.

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.

This afternoon’s session

After lunch, the first discussion will kick off at 2.30pm, and end at 3.30pm.

FIRST DEBATE: Working with directors
(the first of two debates on issues of particular interest to writers)
Whose film is it anyway and what does it matter?
• Stanislav Semerdjiev, FSE board member (chair)
• Srdjan Koljevic, Peter Hedges, Scott Alexander, Guillaume Laurant, Guy Hibbert, Sergio Sanchez, Mateo Gil, Olivia Hetreed, writers

The following discussion will run from 3.30pm – 4.15pm

DISTRIBUTION I: New distribution methods and the implications for writers
Digitisation and the net have changed distribution of content. What are the implications of the changed distribution structures for production in general and how does this impact writers?
• Rebecca Schechter, president of the WGC (chair)
• Arvind David, producer and CEO of Slingshot Studios
• Lucinda Engelhart, head of production at Aramid Capital
• Julian Friedmann, agent
• Fred Breinersdorfer, writer

There will be a coffee break from 4.15pm – 4.45pm.

The last dicussion of the day will take place from 4.45pm – 5.30m.

DISTRIBUTION II: Interventions on distribution issues
• Anita Ondine, founder of Seize the Media, will make a presentation on the different possible models for monetisation of the internet. Will it be advertising supported, streaming, subscription?
• Tilman Scheel, CEO of Europe’s Finest will look at the digital future of cinema and TV distribution.

There are no other events planned for the day.