30 Mar 2010

At the last Berlinale, the German Directors Guild BVR celebrated its 35th anniversary.  More than 600 guests (including FERA CEO Elisabeth O. Sjaastad) attended the anniversary party during which a new German director prize was announced.

BVR hosted also its annual General Assembly (GA) during which two important decisions were taken.

First of all, BVR members unanimously agreed to take to court the public broadcaster ZDF for not having implemented the Authors Contract Law of 2002 which states that authors must receive an equitable remuneration. In particular, 100% of the fiction programs of ZDF are produced by external – and not independent – producers and 2 out of 3 productions are produced by subsidiary companies of ZDF in order to circumvent collective agreements.

ZDF claims not being the “primary user” of films and programmes and therefore not responsible for the contracts and equitable pay. Formally in fact all the crew signs the contract with the producer, who is basically obliged to collect all the rights from cast and authors under ZDF conditions.

The Producers Alliance is renegotiating some of the terms, altough claiming not being responsible nor competent for the fairness of the remuneration of authors.

Private broadcasters such as RTL group and Pro7/Sat1 act similarly as ZDF and ARD (the biggest German public broadcaster), with the difference that they negotiate the so-called “total buy-outs” fee deals according to which directors receive a lump-sum remuneration (worth twice the one granted by ZDF and ARD) without any further remuneration.

A second important decision was taken during the Assembly; BVR members in fact asked the board to negotiate new terms for the law concerning film funding, to strengthen the position of the authors and to improve the agreement with the collecting management society for directors, VG Bild/Kunst.