European Screenwriters and Directors meet Vice-President Kroes - Digital Future Needs to Support Authors’ Creativity

Delegation of leading European Audiovisual Authors presents their vision for the future of the online market – one that brings their works to as many people as possible while guaranteeing authors a fair deal and securing the financing of future works.

SAA Press Release - Brussels, 23/2/12

The delegation, which included prominent authors Robert Alberdingk Thijm (A’dam E.V.A), Fred Breinersdorfer (Sophie Scholl), Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier) and Susanna White (Generation Kill), met Vice-President Kroes in Brussels on 22nd February.

Recognising that it is their creativity that is driving the demand for faster and better connectivity across Europe, they called on Vice President Kroes, responsible for the European Commission’s digital strategy, to guarantee that the new online market benefits consumers and authors.  Both win by using the internet to help Europe’s creators’ works reach a wider audience but this is also an opportunity to guarantee authors a fair deal and redress the imbalance that had formed in the physical market.

They welcomed previous public statements of support from the Commissioner and called for a voice in political discussions on their issues as well as continued support for Europe’s cinematographic diversity through production support and consistent low VAT rates for all audiovisual formats which would boost Europe’s online market.

The delegation made the case for European legislation linking authors to the success of their creativity as proposed by SAA in its White Paper. This would give them the incentive to make more works and encourage them to produce them in Europe with all the economic effects that that implies.

The Commissioner acted quickly by inviting an author to participate in her Media Futures Forum.  SAA Patron Robert Alberdingk Thijm accepted the invitation.


Fred Breinersdorfer, renowned director and member of SAA’s Board of Patrons said “As authors we want to be able to focus on creating and presenting our stories.  If we are to be able to do that in the future we need legislative support.  That means being given a place in discussions and legislative measures that protect us from ourselves, our weak negotiating position and our enthusiasm to get our films made. Our discussion was very constructive and I hope it continues.”

Cécile Despringre, Executive Director, SAA added “The success of the internet comes and will continue to come from the great films and TV shows that people want to watch through it.  This is what is going to drive the next generations of network infrastructure and the take up of cloud computing. It seems only fair that the creators behind this ‘content’ are recognised appropriately.”

Janine Lorente, SACD Deputy Director General and Chair of the SAA Board of Directors added “Our meeting with Commissioner Kroes was very encouraging.  We look forward to continuing to work with her services and trying to find the combination of market lead and legislative solutions that will achieve our common goal of a thriving European audiovisual market that gives Europe’s film fans real access to our authors’ creative works.”