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Miguel Ángel Diani: challenges and goals for AVACI in a changing context


By Ulises Román Rodríguez

The Annual General Assemblies of the organizations FESAAL and AVACI will be held on Tuesday, November 5th, Wednesday, November 6th, and Thursday, November 7th, 2024, in Mexico City, with the local societies SOGEM and SOMEDIRE acting as host members of this historic gathering, which is anticipated to be the most important meeting of authors and societies of audiovisual Screenwriters and Directors worldwide.


Miguel Ángel Diani, the current President of ARGENTORES, an entity with over 115 years of existence and one of the oldest and most active in the world (insert website), and the renowned screenwriter recently appointed as the Provisional President of AVACI, together with his Executive Council and the entire FESAAL, face the challenge of reorienting the International Confederation of Audiovisual Authors towards its roots and original objectives, thereby strengthening its role as a pillar of technical, economic, and solidarity support for audiovisual authors worldwide.


In response to the need for a reorganization that allows for complete control and management by the authors – as it was originally founded – of the International Confederation of Audiovisual Authors (AVACI), a need raised by FESAAL, a federation of founding societies of the International Confederation of Audiovisual, and with the aim of legally registering these primary objectives in the entity’s statutes, Argentine playwright and screenwriter Miguel Ángel Diani, known for his work as president of the Argentine Society of Authors (ARGENTORES), shares the plans devised along with the founding societies to strengthen this organization.


In this interview with AV Creators News, he shares his plans and vision for the future of AVACI.


Miguel Ángel Diani, new interim president of AVACI


- What are the main challenges you face as provisional president of AVACI during this period of transition?

- Refounding AVACI. Returning to the path we should never have left. Reviving the spirit with which we founded the Federation of Latin American Audiovisual Authors' Societies (FESAAL). Making it clear that a management society is not just an entity that collects and distributes royalties, it is also, and above all, a place of belonging for authors. A space of struggle and solidarity. And where mutualism plays a crucial role. That is what differentiates us from an author's representation agency. On the other hand, the commitment to continue progressing in legally registering the Confederation.


- How do you plan to work to achieve its legal registration as a Confederation?

- The first point is for AVACI to have statutes. To that end, we are working together with the Secretariat and the Legal Area to achieve this first goal as soon as possible. Then we will proceed to register it under the laws of the Argentine Republic, where this idea of working for all Latin American authors and from there for all audiovisual authors in the world was generated 14 years ago. Once registered, AVACI will have a legal framework.



- What are the priority objectives to be addressed at the FESAAL-AVACI Assemblies to be held in Mexico City in November?

- The main objective is to replicate in AVACI the successful management model of FESAAL. That is, to do what is necessary to promote the creation of laws that allow the existence of Audiovisual Authors' Rights Management Societies in countries where they do not yet exist. Work on the creation of audiovisual management societies. Support emerging audiovisual societies, providing both logistical and financial support if necessary. And above all, continue feeding that virtuous circle of commitment, affection, and work among all members of the societies.


- How should the direct work between audiovisual authors be, and what benefits would be generated from this form of collaboration?

- The problem of audiovisual authors is the same everywhere in the world. We all suffer the same postponements and mistreatments. An author from Africa fights for visibility and fair remuneration, just like an author from Brazil or France. We all defend the same rights that are constantly being taken away or questioned. We know deeply what it's about. For this reason, management societies must be led by their owners. And the owners are the authors. We know our needs firsthand. And when we stand up to defend what is ours, society as a whole listens to us. Because they admire and respect our work. We must make that count. Teamwork makes us strong when negotiating with users. The exchange of information and experiences is essential for our societies.



- What is your vision regarding the role of audiovisual authors' rights management societies in Latin America, and how do you plan to promote their existence in countries where they do not yet exist?

- Management societies were created to defend authors. It is the only tool an author has to balance their negotiating power with a multinational company. Therefore, it is essential to continue creating societies in the region and the world. The more management societies there are, the stronger we authors will be. And for that, we need to work on new laws and arrange meetings with legislators and high officials of different countries where there are no laws or societies, to explain what a management society is and that author’s rights are not a tax but our salary. And that it is paid voluntarily by a citizen when they buy a ticket to see a play or a movie or when they pay for cable TV or a platform subscription. The author always follows the fate of their work. That is their right. And societies are there to defend it. Even when they get older and their work is no longer seen or they are not called to work. At that moment, their society will be supporting them with a pension and medical assistance, making their life a bit easier.


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