New FSE member - Croatia: Croatian Screenwriters and Playwrights Guild
[...] SPID was founded in 2015 and in only three years we have managed to make a mark in the Croatian audiovisual scene as a whole. Numbering sixtyeight members and counting, we represent a wide array of writers – our members work for TV, film, theatre, radio, the gaming industry, new media and comics.
Prior to our founding, screenwriters and playwrights were scattered across various film/theatre guilds where writers’ issues were never tackled and where we were not able to have a voice. So forming our own guild became a matter of absolute necessity. We wanted to form an institution that would help writers from the audiovisual sector in achieving and preserving their rights, give them support, as well as professional and legal aid. Nevertheless, our aims and actions are not only writer-centered. We have actively participated in Croatian legislative issues (lately in defining the new bill on audiovisual activities), and we have organized masterclasses (Tony Grisoni in 2016 and Spencer Hunt in 2017) and panels (HBO Adria; The Writersroom; Rights for Screenwriters) that were open to both professionals and a broader audience. We have conducted statistical research on screenwriters with an emphasis on gender in the period covering the last ten years, the results of which point to support mechanisms for script development including women more than the fields of directing or production. And last but not least, should the new audiovisual legislation proposal become the law, we are in line to become part of the Croatian Audiovisual Council, which is one of three autonomous and equal bodies presiding over the activities of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (government-backed strategic agency for the audiovisual sector). SPID's main concern are writers, but at the same time we feel that what is even more important is the environment in which we work.
SPID in Croatia tackles the same problems as other national and regional associations, guilds and unions of writers in the audiovisual sector. In a nutshell: unjust distribution of influence and finance. Most of our members are younger authors that mostly work in precarious conditions, with poor fees and even worse rights. By joining the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe we aspire to accomplish several important things: to institutionally and individually connect with our European colleagues, to learn from them and share our own concerns, ideas and possible solutions. Besides practical (even political) issues we in SPID feel that there is another, basic and certainly most important reason for connecting with our European colleagues gathered in FSE: storytelling and story-sharing. Writing a story is creating a world and however complex it might be it will never be as overwhelming and complex as real life and the real world is. The measure of a good story is how close it reaches that “real” in which it is written. However, we are all alike and yet we still bring with ourselves different stories and different aspects of life – joy, fear, sadness and anger.
Inclinations, thoughts, concerns and exaltations. All that is universal, yet at the same time it is local flavors and colors, local origins and motivations that are the fiber of the complexity of reality and of a good story. I believe that my colleagues and myself can add additional perspectives and experiences to that neverending pursuit of a great story, a story that has to be written, filmed and screened.
In the end all that ever stays behind is a story.
The members of the Croatian Screenwriters and Playwrights Guild would like to be an (active) part of a bigger, European screenwriting story. [...]