2019 was a year of changes, which brought us into a new reality. It was the year when a long battle with getting positive new copyright legislation through was finally overcome and the year when a completely new Parliament and Commission was elected.
On 26 March, the SAA welcomed the final vote on the EU Copyright Directive by the European Parliament in Strasbourg and we celebrated with our members, guests and partners in Brussels. We took a short break to close a 3-year period of intense discussions, negotiations and campaigning on the copyright directives, before concentrating on the next step: implementation. Because directives are not directly applicable in the Member States, a good implementation in national laws is as important as having a good directive. We therefore developed guidelines with the SAA members to give them the most ammunition possible to initiate and support the best provisions for filmmakers, in particular on Article 18 on fair and proportionate remuneration. We did the same with the Online Broadcasting and Retransmission Directive, which is important to secure royalties for the retransmission of audiovisual authors’ works. We also assessed other licensing opportunities for audiovisual authors’ CMOs in the Copyright Directive and secured a seat at the stakeholders dialogue table organised by the European Commission on Article 17 to voice the need for revenues for filmmakers if their works are being shared on user-generated content platforms.
2019 was also the year the EU Parliament and Commission ended their term and new decision-makers were elected at the end of May. Together with partners the SAA initiated a filmmakers’ manifesto to call on EU citizens to vote. The manifesto was signed by 500 personalities from the cinema world, including many SAA Patrons and presented at the Cannes Film Festival. As soon as the new Parliament was operational in July, we started meeting the new Members to present the SAA to them with our welcome brochure. On 26 November, the SAA invited the MEPs to its well-established dinner in cooperation with the LUX Film Prize, FERA and FSE. 16 MEPs joined, together with the LUX Prize finalists (including the winner Teona Strugar Mitevska for God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya) and Oleg Sentsov, the EP Sakharov Prize winner 2018. Joining forces with other creators’ organisations, we continued to bring creators’ issues to the attention of the MEPs, such as MEP EHLER’s Cultural and Creative Industries’ Forum and MEP NIENASS’s Creators’ Friendship Group. A new Commission, led by a woman for the first time, entered into office on 1 December 2019. The audiovisual and copyright policies were included in the Internal Market portfolio of Mr Breton, with whom the SAA is eager to work closely during the next 5 years.
As an audiovisual authors’ organisation, the SAA gives visibility to filmmakers’ works through screenings. In 2019, the SAA partnered with EFADs and the EU Finnish Presidency among others on the screening of the Finnish film Aurora on 19 November. Together with L’ARP, SACD and others, a programme of Paris exclusive premieres of European films followed by a discussion with the director was continued with Sibel (6 March 2019), Deux (12 Feb 2020) and Corpus Christi (25 Feb 2020). For the latter, the SAA made a video interview with the Polish director Jan Komasa about being a young European filmmaker (in partnership with Cineuropa).
Behind the scene, we have been preparing for our 10th Anniversary. During 2020, we will tell SAA’s story through images from the archives, videos and blogs and reveal a new visual identity. Stay tuned and check out our news, blog and subscribe to our quarterly Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and watch our videos on Vimeo 😊