Some people ask why film directors are represented in Brussels. Indeed it may not seem obvious – even to ourselves – why our profession needs its own EU lobby organisation and why some of us have fought tooth and nail to keep it going for 32 years! But in reality, while many are busy with what they believe to be their unique national concerns, they are probably dealing with an issue that was decided in Brussels a few years earlier. Here are some examples:
These days it seems like the consequences of the digital revolution cannot be overstated, but while many things have changed and will change, what does not is the fact that films are made by filmmakers. Just as the audiovisual industry finds itself in a state of transition from old business models to new ones, the global financial crisis has caused several European countries to cut public funding for new films, broadcasters to pay less for screening rights, corporate sponsorship to decrease sharply, and private investors to invest more conservatively – if at all.
In a time when our works are circulated in an intangible format, it is even more important to underline that what is being paid for by the consumer is not the piece of plastic that the film is stored on, but the creative efforts of the filmmakers and the costs of promoting and distributing that work as widely as possible.
There is a chance to improve the creative and economic conditions for film directors in Europe, by making full use of FERA to articulate legitimate interests and demonstrate how directors are affected by a number of issues on the political agenda. FERA is now a solid network, and FERA is the voice of more than 20.000 screen directors in Europe.