We, the filmmakers, work at the crossroads of “an art and also an industry” (André Malraux).
We are the ones who nurture this industry’s artistic dimension. Our industry cannot thrive without the freedom of authors and filmmakers.
Today, the diversity and vitality of the filmmaking industry are increasingly weakened by certain practices that contravene the core principles of copyright and creative freedom. These practices include script rewriting, imposed artistic collaborations and castings, film editing by broadcasters, and prescribed choices of soundtracks, with the effect of turning directors into executors rather than creators.
These practices aimed at circumventing the initial spirit of the work—and therefore implicitly of the finished work—for commercial reasons, inevitably represent a form of censorship detrimental to any creative process. They jeopardize freedom of experimentation and make the author invisible, falling dangerously in line with the prevailing notion of copyright on the American market.
These practices are neither welcome in our filmmaking industry, nor in the audiovisual industry, where the same trend has already been observed for a long time.
It is therefore absolutely critical to protect our status as authorsand to reaffirm our moral rights, by recalling that the following elements must be mutually agreed upon by the author and the producer, whose collaboration and mutual trust are at the heart of our creative process. They should not be added to, deleted from, or amended without the explicit agreement of the filmmaker:
· the script’s final version;
· the film’s title;
· the film’s final editing;
· including the opening and closing credits of the film.
the authors’ name shall appear:
· in the film’s credits;
· on any physical or digital promotional material;
· on any broadcasting channel and medium, on the film’s presentation page if applicable (television channels, online video-on-demand platforms on a pay-per-view or subscription basis, etc.).
Any failure to comply with the above points and/or any pressure exerted could be considered as subordination of rights, which would open the way to a requalification of the rights assignment contract as an employment contract. This could imply the loss of the work’s exploitation rights.
At the request of the filmmaker, any infringement of these points, from the script writing to the final editing, shall be recorded and sanctioned.
By this joint declaration, we commit not to accept any deviation from these principles, nor to sign any contract or agreement that would be contrary to them.
We call on all partners involved in our cultural exception to commit to this as well.