Last Thursday, November 4, a General Meeting was conducted, where the member societies of the FESAAL (Audiovisual Authors Societies Federation), delivered a report to their colleague authors commenting on the regional situation, the challenges and the achievements obtained during this year. The meeting, performed virtually through the Zoom platform, was attended by Alexandra Cardona Restrepo (President of REDES), Horacio Maldonado (General Secretary of FESAAL), Mario Mitrotti (President of DASC), Marcílio Moraes (President of GEDAR), Guilherme de Almeida Prado (President of DBCA), Henrique de Freitas Lima (Treasurer of DBCA), Miguel Ángel Diani (President of ARGENTORES), Dr. Germán Gutiérrez (Legal Counsel of ARGENTORES), Carlos Galettini (President of DAC), Dr. Luis Mangiavillano (Executive Director of DAC), Dr. Felipe Schuster (Legal Counsel of ATN), Dr. Eduardo de Freitas (General Director of AGADU), Alexis Buenseñor (President of AGADU), César Cuadra Bastidas (General Director of ATN), Dra. Adriana Saldarriaga (Legal Adviser of DASC) and Sylvia Palma (General Secretary of GEDAR), apart from other societies’ representatives, such as Gerardo Luna Islas (President of SOGEM) and Gloría López (National and International Television Department Manager - SOGEM), Ricardo Aguilar (President of EDAP, Panamá), Franco García Becerra and Rodrigo Moreno (DACAP – Associated Audiovisual and Film Directors of Peru).
The meeting was moderated by Alexandra Cardona Restrepo, Audiovisual Director and President of REDES, Colombia. “I love seeing you. Every look, every smile, reminds me that there is nothing more collective than the work we do”, greeted by way of introduction before reminding that the FESAAL exists “to give us knowledge concerning politics and to keep brotherhood among Latin American Authors”.
From Brazil, the authorities of GEDAR (Screenwriters’ Authors’ Rights Management), Marcílio Moraes (Audiovisual Screenwriter and President) and Sylvia Palma (Audiovisual Screenwriter and General Secretary), explained the current context of their society after their first seminar held last September, where the first authors’ rights collections concerning the exhibition of works in Colombia and Argentina were announced, managed together with REDES and ARGENTORES by means of their reciprocity agreements. Moraes highlighted that the seminar “was a professional appraisal of Screenwriters and it was key to call for the union of all in order to fight this battle”, and he also stressed that GEDAR’s priority now is to achieve the authors’ rights recognition of their Authors concerning the exhibition of their works in Brazil. In turn, they both described the situation of Brazilian Authors regarding large streaming platforms, in a country where “the government promotes a destruction of the audiovisual sector”, with an independent production paralyzed which has eased a strong outbreak of multinational companies of on demand content, and which leaves Authors with no possibilities but to accept unfavorable contracts in order to be able to work. “I believe we have to act as a block to conduct a Latin American campaign against those contracts and against the idea that producers can receive our rights”, Palma proclaimed before recognizing the support of the FESAAL. On the other hand, Guilherme de Almeida Prado and Henrique de Freitas Lima, authorities of DBCA (Brazilian Audiovisual and Film Directors), detailed the situation of their society with regard to legal issues as well as the unfavorable political situation of their country for a legal dispute concerning the rights of Brazilian Authors against large streamers.
From Argentina, Miguel Ángel Diani (President of ARGENTORES), and Carlos Galettini (President of DAC – General Association of Audiovisual and Film Authors and Directors), commented on the development that is being carried out concerning the draft bill for the new Audiovisual Production Law in Argentina, while form Chile, César Cuadra Bastidas (General Director of ATN), described the current situation of audiovisual rights in his country.
In the Meeting, the expansion of FESAAL’s Executive Committee to five persons was approved by unanimous vote, as well as the addition of Sylvia Palma from GEDAR (Brazil) and of Daniella Castagno from ATN (Chile) to such Committee. “We were missing the point of view of women and artists within the Executive Committee”, Miguel Ángel Diani asserted when proposing this renewal. “The invitation is an honor. It is very important when women only represent 20% of this sector”, Sylvia Palma thanked. “Count on me for the executive work”, she concluded.
By the end of the meeting, Adriana Saldarriaga, Authors’ Rights lawyer and legal counsel of DASC (Colombian Society of Audiovisual Directors), proceeded to read a document, drafted by FESAAL’s Legal and Technical Committee, formed by Dr. Germán Gutiérrez (ARGENTORES), Dr. Luis Mangiavillano (DAC), Dr. Adriana Saldarriaga (DASC) and Dr. Felipe Schuster, which urges governments from Latin America and the Caribbean that have not yet decreed or guaranteed the mandatory legal representation of Authors and Directors, to do it as soon as possible. The document, which can be found in full below the news, was approved by unanimous vote at the General Meeting.