Screen writers of the world unite

Hundreds of screenwriters from around the globe gathered in Germany in October where they put their collective heads together to discuss the effects of globalisation on their craft.

The World Conference of Screenwriters, which took place on 10-11 October 2018 in Berlin (pictured above), was the fourth event of its kind and saw writers’ guilds and organisations, including WGGB, descend on the German capital to take part in panels, interviews and workshops around the themes of power and freedom.

As well as exploring the impact of a rapidly changing digital landscape on writing for film and TV, they also had the opportunity to share common concerns on such issues as copyright and remuneration.

The conference took place in the Academy of Arts in Berlin and followed on from a 2014 event in Warsaw which passed a resolution calling on commissioners, funders, studios, networks and broadcasters to set the goal of having 50% of scripts across genres and at every budget level written by women.

WGGB president Olivia Hetreed spoke about WGGB’s Equality Writes campaign, which was launched earlier this year alongside an independent report commissioned by the union. The report showed women are severely under-represented in film and TV: only 16% of working film writers in the UK are female and only 14% of prime-time TV is written by women.

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers, who also attended the event as part of the WGGB delegation, said: “It is fantastic that writers and their guilds from many countries can gather to discuss the issues they face, whether that be the dominance of Netflix and Amazon, the pros and cons of the showrunner model, or how we can act collectively to deal head on with the inequality that afflicts our industry. TV, film and other media are all now global – and screenwriters and their unions are also going global to preserve and improve writers’ pay, terms and rights. That is something to celebrate.”

The conference passed the following resolution.

Read more on the WCOS website.