Athens Declaration

Writers commit to increased cooperation and solidarity at 1st World Conference of Screenwriters

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In the new digitized and globalized world, we screenwriters have today come together in Athens, Greece, to discuss our central role in the creation of the stories that are carried with such impact to the world's myriad screens and to people's minds and hearts. Stories influence our behavior and shape our culture. They help us understand. Stories can conquer fear. Stories have power. As screenwriters, the storytellers of our time, we are conscious of our role and our responsibility and we have met to make sure that we can continue our work in the new environment.

The creative and financial challenges that we face can only be met if we join forces and work together. We insist on the individual capacity of every one of the twenty-five thousand screenwriters whose representatives are gathered here to see and understand the world in their own way and to reflect that unique perspective in their stories. We exult in the knowledge that individual creativity is what brings us together to defend and assert our common rights and goals. We endorse the ambitions and intentions of the Charter of the FSE, the Charter of the IAWG and the Manifesto of European Screenwriters.

We demand the right of screenwriters everywhere to be acknowledged as an author of the audiovisual work that they have written and to be fairly compensated for each and every use made of their work. In pursuit of these objectives we will engage in active collaboration on campaigns that seek to achieve our common goals.

We pledge to work together to defend and extend the rights of writers for the screen. Agreed and signed on Saturday, 7th November 2009 in Athens at the conclusion of the first World Conference of Screenwriters.

Christina Kallas, President, Federation des Scenaristes en Europe/Federation of Screenwriters in Europe

Michael Winship, Chair, International Affiliation of Writers Guilds

List of Proposed Joint Actions

Building on the relationships formed through collective actions taken during the 2007-2008 writers' strike in the United States and further cemented during the first World Conference of Screenwriters in Athens in November 2009, the Board of the FSE and Policy and Research Group of the IAWG have discussed the strengthening of working relationships between the two organizations. In the interest of writers everywhere, we have agreed that we will:

  1. Establish an information system on the FSE and IAWG websites to keep member guilds of each organization informed of the activities of the other;
  2. Agree to a system of exchange of information between guilds about topics of collective interest, establish and circulate a contact list of all the world's writers' guilds and publish and distribute an occasional global e-newsletter;
  3. Arrange to have observers at one another's meetings;
  4. Set up a group to work together virtually to agree to a glossary of basic terms related to writers, writing and remuneration that could be agreed to globally;
  5. Set up a group to work together virtually that would agree to basic terms in respect of writers' credits that could be agreed to globally;
  6. Establish a joint campaign on the right to collective bargaining, beginning with an analysis of common problems;
  7. Establish a joint campaign on the future of collecting societies in the digital world, starting with an analysis of the relationship of writers' guilds to collecting societies worldwide;
  8. Stand ready to support one another with appropriate solidarity activities in the event of any crisis situation;
  9. Take note of the debates and conclusions of the first World Conference of Screenwriters;
  10. Initiate a discussion about the desirability and practicality of establishing a global organization for screenwriters.


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