The International AVACI Congress 2023, to be held from May 2nd to May 5th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the most important gathering of filmmakers, screenwriters, Authors’ Rights administrators, and lawyers in the world.
This year's edition will be hosted by DBCA (Brazilian Directors of Cinema and Audiovisual) in partnership with GEDAR (Authors' Rights Management of Screenwriters) , who have been fighting to obtain a law on remuneration rights that will allow them to charge for the public exhibition of their audiovisual works.
Lawyer and audiovisual director Henrique de Freitas Lima is the president of DBCA, and a few days before the Congress he told AV Creators News that "it is a happy coincidence that this great event is taking place in Brazil at a time when film and television directors and screenwriters are fighting for equality with composers, who already receive their royalties for public communication of audiovisual works."
-Why is the Congress that will take place in Brazil important for audiovisual directors worldwide?
-Coming to Brazil for the Congress, especially to Rio de Janeiro, the Wonderful City, will be a human and work experience in favor of our audiovisual author's rights, especially when directors and screenwriters in Brazil are fighting to collect their rights, and also for colleagues from affiliated management societies worldwide.
-What are the most urgent and fundamental issues to be discussed at the Congress?
-Making progress on common AVACI issues to support the struggle of societies that still cannot collect, especially in Korea and Brazil, as well as learning about the situation in India, Africa, and other countries worldwide.
-Particularly for Brazilian audiovisual authors and directors: What does this Congress mean for you and why?
-We are in the process of changing Brazil's authors' rights Law to make it clear that directors and screenwriters have the right to remuneration through management societies, as composers have had for a long time via ECAD (Central Office for Collection of Authors' Rights), which brings together seven societies. The Executive Branch and the National Congress know the problem and are working to overcome it. The event is already well exposed in the media and will increase much more until its date of realization.
Finally, Henrique de Freitas Lima stated: "Brazil is a very important audiovisual producer. The numbers are incredible. It is a shame for us that the remuneration rights of screenwriters and directors are still not collected."
The perspective of the screenwriters
The AVACI International Congress 2023 is also significant for screenwriters. "Today's writers face very similar problems worldwide, as most of us write for global platforms. So, being able to discuss local solutions that our colleagues have found in their countries can inspire us. The discussion about authors' rights is much stronger when placed in a context of cooperation between different countries," said Thiago Dottori, President of Gestão de Direitos de Autores Roteiristas GEDAR, (Authors’ Rights Management of Screenwriters) to AV Creators News.
Dottori also stated that "the urgent issue, at least for us here in Brazil, is precisely the creation of a Law of Remunerative Rights for Brazilian authors. And the successful examples of our colleagues from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Africa, Korea, and Europe can offer us a solution for the Brazilian context."
In this regard, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture publicly expressed its support for audiovisual authors, screenwriters, and directors in their fight to obtain a law of remuneration rights that allows them to collect fees for the public exhibition of their audiovisual works.
The expression of support occurred during a panel at the Rio2C Creativity Encounter 2023, in which Márcio Tavares dos Santos, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, and Marcos Souza, Secretary of Copyright and Intellectual Property, participated.
"Among our priorities for this year is to guarantee the right of public exhibition to the owners of audiovisual works," announced Marcos Souza.
This public declaration is a clear signal of support from the current Brazilian government to the entities that have been demanding a law that recognizes their rights over audiovisual works, similar to the one that covers composers of musical works.
"This is a very hot moment in Brazil regarding the regulation of digital platforms. After 4 years in which the debate was unfeasible, due to the bias of the previous government, today we have the opportunity to dialogue with the current government and advance our rights in Brazil. Having the AVACI Congress here, at this moment, could not be more timely!" concluded Dottori.