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WITHOUT PRECEDENT: Worldwide Authors gathered in Moscow after a new W&DW Annual Congress

With a historic attendance from Authors, authorities of collective management societies, Federations and Alliances from around the world, the Writers and Directors Worldwide (W&DW) Annual Congress took place in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation.

On March 25, 26 and 27, the W&DW Annual Congress took place, this time in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation, gathering a myriad of Authors of the most classic works from the Russian audiovisual sector, films that are today considered important within the industry. Screenwriters, playwrights, literary and filmmakers who have transcended throughout time, in a country with a vast cinematic history, are coming together at the same time to defend their authors’ rights for creating works that have become landmarks. The event also hosted important authors from Azerbaijan and Belarus who are committed to join this important collective struggle.

To the numerous locals, the congress added a large number of Authors and authorities from around the world, management societies, Alliances and Federations, all centered around this council of Drama, Literary and Audiovisual works, W&DW. They thanked the warm welcome received from their local colleagues, and especially from the hosting society, the RUR – Russian Union of Right-Holders and its General Director, Mr. Andrey Krichevskiy, and its Deputy Director and Chief of International Affairs, Erik Valdés – Martines. The renowned Film Director Vladimir Khotinenko joined the warm welcome and encouraged the Authors to continue their struggle for their rights and their best wishes for the proposed objectives, who also received on behalf of the Russian VGIK University of which he is Professor emeritus, a plaque honoring the institution’s trajectory for its 100th anniversary, granted by W&DW and DAC – Directors Argentina.

Vladimir Khotinenko welcomes a W&DW tribute on behalf of the Russian University VGIK

Monday March 25 was dedicated to a cultural visit to the famous centennial MOSFILM Studios (founded in 1920, with over 3000 films produced), which commemorates this year its 95th anniversary, and where historic and successful films where created. The visit was hosted by its General Director, the renowned film director and screenwriters, Karén Shajnazárov, who personally received and complimented his colleagues for being part of the struggle for their rights.

Authors gathered at MOSFILM//Horacio Maldonado W&DW President and Karén Shajnazárov MOSFILM Director General

Both dates, the 26th and the 27th, were focused on the current situation the Russian Federation and the surrounding countries are dealing with regarding authors’ rights, and on the role of the Authors as the owners of their works. On both days, there were panels and debates where local Authors exposed their doubts, the need to create a collective management society for filmmakers and screenwriters to protect their rights, and the need to rely on the support of international Alliances and Federations to guide them in a framework of collaboration and cooperation. This rich debate was moderated by the regional coordinator of the Latin American Audiovisual Directors Alliance (ADAL), Silvana Jarmoluk, film director, screenwriter and Master of Fine Arts, who has dedicated several years to the region and her Russian colleagues.

Important studies were also part of the congress: Erik Valdés – Martines presented the current situation of authors’ rights in the Russian Federation; international experts Janine Lorente and Andrea Mazzuli (Audiovisual Area Manager SIAE Italy) offered a presentation on digital platforms and new technologies (VOD, video on demand) and their global situation, which was complemented by an important analysis by Dmitry Kolesov on the perspective of legal VOD platforms in the Russian Federation.

A rich debate took place among the Authors representing the international Alliances and Federations, which have demonstrated how successful the union of Authors is in each of their territories. They explained the role of these Alliances and the need to create a framework of cooperation with the region of Eurasia, to facilitate help and support to Authors in need.

Latin America presented FESAAL – Latin American Audiovisual Authors´ Federation – recently founded, joining over ten Latin American management societies, and with a historical progress in its territory. Today, it holds a vast record in the defense of authors’ rights and aid of emergent societies.

The congress closed with an important announcement, as one of the most significant steps is being taken within the framework of international Alliances cooperation: FESAAL, W&DW and APASER – Pan-African Alliance of Screenwriters and Filmmakers – have the goal to create collaboration support in countries where their management societies are in development. To that end, they have signed an memorandum of understanding, which upholds, among its priorities, the necessary knowledge and financial support for the significant first steps of this path (see article).

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