The Pan-African Alliance of Screenwriters and Filmmakers
APASER is the Alliance Panafricaine des Scénaristes et Réalisateurs. This international collaboration between Writers & Directors Worldwide, CISAC and the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers exists to protect and promote the rights of audiovisual creators in Africa.
As local audiences and international interest continue to grow the audiovisual sector in this region, the pressure on the industry to erode these essential rights increases exponentially. Similarly, with international borders now less relevant to the production and distribution of audiovisual works, independent creators need to equitably negotiate with ever-more powerful digital intermediaries. The enforcement of a legal framework that protects their position and enables them to negotiate a share in the future success of their work is a vital constituent of a sustainable audiovisual economy for Africa.
The audiovisual sector is a significant contributor to the national economies of countries where works are created and shown. From the direct employment of a film production to the stimulation of growth around cinemas and television companies, the screenwriter and director are at the heart of this economy. Of equal importance is the cultural benefit that their work brings. Today, African filmmaking is reaching new audiences all over the world with Nigeria‘s “Nollywood” alone producing more than 2000 films per year.
APASER will help to protect these economic and cultural contributions by working towards its three key objectives.
The Origins of APASER
The founding concept for APASER began with the signing of a pledge at the FESPACO Film Festival in Burkina Faso. This agreement paved the way for future cooperation on authors’ rights issues between Writers & Directors Worldwide, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI).
The birth of Apaser
CISAC organised a creators’ conference in Algiers which provided the ideal venue to formulate a framework for APASER‘s mandate. With creators, government ministers and delegates from 18 African countries present, this became the largest meeting of its kind ever held in Africa. The international experience and expertise of these delegates was invaluable in helping to set the strategy for this new organisation.
Writers & Directors Worldwide held their annual congress in Venice and were joined by APASER’s newly-elected president and members of its executive committee. This comprises six audiovisual creators with extensive real-world experience of authors’ rights both in Africa and abroad. It also includes Writers & Directors Worldwide’s vice-president, Yves Nilly, who was instrumental in setting up this alliance since signing the initial agreement with new APASER president, Laza.
2018 Venice Congress Film
Hear updates from the international audiovisual creators attending the Writers & Directors Worldwide annual congress.
They include Algerian director, screenwriter and APASER executive committee members, Saïd Ould Khelifa and Yves Nilly.
Laza is a film director from Madagascar and a graduate of the French state film school, La Fémis. He is also the founder of the Madagascan Short Film Festival which since 2006 has organised Pan-African competitions, workshops, meetings and international exchanges.
Film Director, Madagascar
APASER Executive Committee
Saïd Ould Khelifa
Mohamed Saïd Ouma
Maria Sarungi Tsehai
(Yves Nilly is also the vice-president of Writers & Directors Worldwide and an advisory counsellor to the executive committee.)
APASER is supported internationally by CISAC, the world’s leading network of authors’ societies, and by its creators council that campaigns internationally for audiovisual rights, Writers & Directors Worldwide. This network extends to 123 countries and via its 239 society members, represents the interests of more than four million creators.
The collaboration with APASER is an essential component of this international representation. It follows a similar model to that developed in Latin America with the formation of the Alianza de Directores Audiovisuales Latinoamericanos (ADAL). This has been instrumental in aligning the efforts of national authors’ societies within the region, and leveraging them with international support from CISAC and Writers & Directors Worldwide to successfully lobby governments.
As part of the “Audiovisual Campaign”, the laws of Chile and Colombia have already been rewritten to include measures that better protect the rights of audiovisual authors, with other countries expected to follow.
Writers & Directors Worldwide is an international not-for-profit organisation that works to protect the rights of writers and directors working in the audiovisual, literary and dramatic repertoires.
The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creators across all regions of the world and artistic fields.
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers works with its affiliate national bodies and membership to leverage policies and actions for the development and enhancement of filmmaking in Africa.