The birth of the FSE
Alfred Hitchcock was asked: Mr Hitchcock, what makes a great film? And Alfred Hitchcock said: To make a great film you need three things the script, the script and the script.
Writers are the invisible, unheard participants in the making of dramatic works for the screen. Yet they are the ones who start from nothing, from the blank of the page and on that page they create worlds in words, and these worlds are then brought to light on the screen by their colleagues in the art of filmmaking. The audiovisual field is, by its very nature, one of artistic collaboration. Sadly, very often, it is also a site of bitter struggle between art and economics. It is important therefore that the writer be seen and heard as an essential and important part of the artistic process it is one more voice for originality and integrity.
So in order to be bigger and louder, in an already big, loud world, writers' Guilds and Unions from all over the Europe have joined together as the Federation of Scriptwriters in Europe the FSE. Our aim is simple to make it easier for writers to tell good stories to as many people as possible; to tell stories of their country to the people of their country; to tell stories of their country to the people of another country and thus to celebrate the diversity of cultures within Europe while maintaining each country's own specific national cultural identity. In the face of the increasing globalisation of culture, we all need to be bigger and louder.
The FSE had its beginnings when writers realised that there was no organisation representing them on a Europe-wide scale, and that there was a need for such an organisation. At meetings in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, the idea of a federation of European writers guilds took shape and in Madrid the statutes of the Federation of Scriptwriters of Europe were signed by guilds and unions from Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland. The FSE has since been joined by the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal. Norway, and Switzerland.
The first general assembly of the FSE took place in Athens, with Katerina Marinaki of the Greek writers guild as president. The goals of the FSE are, amongst others, to promote the work of scriptwriters; the defence and protection of the rights of scriptwriters; the harmonisation of European legislation in terms most favourable to scriptwriters; to provide occasions where scriptwriters can exchange ideas projects and expertise; the defence of freedom of speech and the promotion of national cultural diversity within Europe.
Thomas Mc Laughlin
Athens, June 2001