Screenwriters & directors look to European Parliament to put authors back at the heart of culture and copyright/authors’ rights

Authors come to Strasbourg today as copyright reform is to be confirmed on the Commission Work Programme and the European Parliament gives its LUX Prize for European Cinema tomorrow.

European screenwriters’ and directors’ organisations are in Strasbourg today to celebrate the vitality of European creativity in film and show the European Parliament the important role it can play in making European films circulate better and ensure remuneration flows back to the creators.  As the European Commission prepares to put forward legislation on authors’ rights and copyright, the delegation will underline the need for any future legislation to enable them to continue to secure financing for their projects and their partners who distribute them, as well as improving authors’ remuneration for the use of their works across Europe.

The delegation’s visit also coincides with the announcement of the winner of the European Parliament’s cinema prize – the LUX Prize - which provides distribution support through subtitling in the 24 official European languages, an essential element of a films’ circulation across Europe.  SAA Executive Director, Cécile Despringre, will be part of the LUX Prize seminar for journalists in a panel on the promotion and support of European films in the digital era.

They will be promoting the joint 5-year wish-list of FERA, FSE and SAA which underlined 7 key areas where the European Parliament can make a difference for audiovisual authors.  The meetings also come a week after a study by EY highlighting the importance of the cultural and creative sectors to Europe’s economy and employment.

The delegation is made up of SAA members from France (SACD, Scam), Germany (VG Bild Kunst, VG Wort), Poland (ZAPA), Romania (Dacin Sara), Spain (DAMA) and the United Kingdom (Directors UK). The authors in the delegation include:

  • Julie Bertuccelli (La Cour de Babel, The Tree)
  • Sophie Deschamps (L’Harmonie Familiale)
  • Delyth Thomas (The Story of Tracy Beaker)
  • Hugh Stoddart (The Mill on the Floss)
  • Cay Wesnigk (Huberta Burda, Zwischen Rebellion und Pflicht)
  • Rolf Silber (Achtung Artzt!)
  • Jochen Greve (Tatort)
  • Borja Cobeaga (Ocho Apellidos Vascos)


Cécile Despringre, SAA Executive Director said:  “The LUX Prize demonstrates the European Parliament’s support for European cinema, especially those films who have powerful stories to tell about our continent and citizens.  The screenwriters and directors here today want to encourage the Parliament to include this issue in its legislative plans too, to help films reach audiences across Europe while remunerating authors fairly at the same time, in particular in the digital environment.”

Janine Lorente, Chair of the SAA board of directors added:  “Copyright reform has been flagged as a priority by the new Commission, but the direction is unclear so far.  We need to work together to put authors back at the heart of authors’ rights, copyright and culture so that their works are valued and they retain both a moral and economic connection to them, wherever they are exploited.”

Borja Cobeaga, Spanish screenwriter and SAA patron said:  “My authors’ rights enable me to keep making films.  My last film was a huge success at home and I would love international audiences to discover it. I rely on partners to bring my films to the attention of other countries because I know that pure availability is not enough at a time of multiple screens and cultural offers. The European single market must ensure that when my works are used, remuneration flow back to me.”