Global Screen Industry Unites for a Sustainable Future

Default Profile ImageBen O'Connell
Global Screen Industry

New Zealand’s Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) has stood with representatives of screen-producing organisations worldwide to release a joint statement emphasising the key principles needed to ensure a sustainable future screen industry through the regulation of powerful digital streaming platforms.

SPADA say that the tens of thousands of screen representatives have a shared commitment to demonstrate unity of purpose and commitment towards ensuring the independence and viability of the global screen industry and the preservation of the cultural sovereignty of each nation.

The joint statement acknowledges that responding to the changes brought to screen business dynamics by digital streaming platforms is both a global challenge and local issue, the statement says.

Governments worldwide are taking steps to adapt and impose new regulations, recognising changed industry dynamics and the urgent need to act to protect local stories, creative work and the intellectual property generated.

The statement underscores the cultural and economic importance of local storytelling, recognising this as a strategic national asset to be cherished and protected. The commitment extends to ensuring that local audiences have access to a diverse range of newly created local stories across all platforms.

The joint statement stresses the mutual cultural responsibility of digital platforms operating in local markets, emphasising the need for them to make fair and proportional contributions to the creation of new local content in the markets in which they receive revenue.

Central to these principles is the need for a healthy screen-independent sector, encompassing development, production, distribution, and post-production. Governments are urged to address market failures and imbalances in commercial bargaining power, with a particular emphasis on recognising the critical role of independent screen businesses.

Most importantly, the joint statement calls for governments to recognise the growth opportunities tied to intellectual property (IP) protection. Independent screen businesses should own or retain control of their IP, ensuring financial participation in the success generated by their work on platforms—a crucial aspect of preserving a nation’s unique cultural heritage.

This isn’t just about regulations; it’s about safeguarding the heart and soul of our cultural narratives. As a united front, AECINE, Animation in Europe, AnimFrance, APCA, APIT, CEPI, CMPA, EPC, FIPCA, FPS, PATE, Produzentenverband, SPA, SPADA, SPI, UPFF+, and USPA call on their governments to take decisive action in protecting local content and their intellectual property.

The Future of the Global Screen Industry

SPADA NZ is a vital force in promoting a healthy and vibrant screen production industry in New Zealand. They support producers, advocate for their interests, and contribute to the growth and success of the entire sector.

The film industry is grappling with various challenges. The rise of streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max has fragmented audiences and reduced traditional revenue for studios and theatres. The constant competition for subscribers can lead to rushed productions and a lack of diverse content.

Technological advancements, including special effects and virtual reality, offer new creative possibilities but also require substantial investments and quick adaptation. Illegal downloading and streaming cause significant financial losses and anti-piracy measures struggle to keep up.

An overreliance on sequels and adaptations limits creativity, as studios prioritise established franchises over new ideas. Diversity issues persist both on and off-screen, resulting in stereotypical portrayals and missed storytelling opportunities, as well.

The industry’s power consolidation among major studios makes it challenging for independent voices to emerge, limiting diverse perspectives. It’s crucial to recognise that the film industry is diverse, with different segments facing unique challenges and opportunities, varying by region.

The future of the global screen industry will be a complex one, if one thing is for sure.