Audiovisual Authors’ Societies Offer Collaboration to Producers on Digital Future

The Society of Audiovisual Author’s (SAA’s) chairman of the board of directors Gerhard Pfennig, speaking at the CISAC World Copyright Summit on Wednesday 9th June 2011, offered an open hand of collaboration to Europe’s producers, in the organisation’s efforts to guarantee a digital market that remunerates filmmakers.

The proposition came during the session entitled “Fair deals for audiovisual creators” which brought together the SAA chairman of the board of directors as well as Spanish director Imanol Uribe, French filmmaker Jean-Paul Salomé, Polish film producer Dariusz Jablonski and CEO of Directors UK Andrew Chowns. The vast majority of Europe’s producers are micro, small and medium sized companies who often suffer from a similarly weak position in the distribution chain of audiovisual works to that of authors. The panel agreed that a collaboration to address these common difficulties would bring guaranteed returns for all parties and help strengthen Europe’s audiovisual sector.

Earlier in the day the World Copyright Summit had heard from renowned Belgian director and SAA patron, Stijn Coninx. As he opened the second day of the summit, he called for Europe’s policy makers to remember the impact that creativity and culture has on citizens, something that goes beyond that of a mere product, and called for a fair trade in culture to allow the creators to continue to do what they do best.

The summit also featured French author and screenwriter Yves Nilly, who underlined the vital role of collective management societies in the development of the online market if authors are to be associated to the success of their works. He also called for all the actors in the sector to work together to ensure a bright future for Europe’s diverse audiovisual industry.


Gerhard Pfennig, Chairman of the board of directors of SAA said: “It is clear that in Europe the chain of contracts that takes a film from its creator’s imagination to its audience is not weighted in favour of the smaller actors at the beginning of this chain. I hope we can work together to level the playing field for everyone.”

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of the SAA added:  “Our recently published White Paper looks to establish the involvement of authors in the successes of their works but this could also be an opportunity for Europe’s producers too. I hope the producers hear this call and that we will be able to work together to strengthen the sector that we share.”