Reactions to COVID-19 from local governments and CMOs

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged economic sectors around the world, forcing governments, organisations and individuals to rethink the way we live and to come up with solutions. Culture and its creative community are deeply affected by quarantine and social distancing. Directly related to royalty payments, creators’ incomes are being significantly diminished and, frequently, disappearing entirely with projects, shootings and festivals being cancelled or postponed as well as the closure of cinemas, theatres and cultural venues.

Our audiovisual, dramatic and literary community is being challenged to employ its core asset: creativity. The community needs to build solutions. W&DW is sharing how governments, collective management organisations, guilds and individuals are protecting authors.

The following are initiatives from governments and organisations, as well as innovations, to support authors impacted by COVID-19:

Society initiatives:

  • Creation of emergency and solidarity funds for creators in serious precariousness and difficult conditions to provide short-term subsidies.
  • Anticipating royalty payments and distributions for the short-term and creating extraordinary support funds to cover distributions for the following months in the mid and long term.
  • Creation-specific funds for playwrights, who are among the most affected and least protected by government initiatives.
  • Proposing interest-free loans to members and extending terms to those that are due to expire in the coming months.
  • Issuing complimentary financial support to cover areas that government initiatives are not able to cover.
  • Supporting members who are equipped to work to release new productions and exploit the demand for content.  
  • Lobbying local and regional policymakers to support authors.
  • Providing marketing and distribution support for upcoming film and TV releases. 

Government initiatives:

  • Retroactive film development fund tax cuts
  • Solidarity fonds for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Wage subsidies
  • Rent relief
  • Favorizing VOD releases for new productions

Initiatives from cinemas, theatres and artists:

  • Theatres have started to stream plays to support dramatic authors.
  • Artists themselves are coming together online to showcase works that have been cancelled or disrupted (e.g., Social Distancing Festival).

This period represents a call to action for all W&DW members and the creative community. We are encouraging you to share this message as much as possible. This information can be used, among other initiatives, to draw attention to efforts and encourage governments to improve the livelihoods for creators not only in this time of crisis, but for decades to come.

We invite you to contribute to this initiative by providing us with any information that may be useful for your fellow creators, such as government support to inspire other governments, financial aid, new projects to expand access to culture. 

Below are actions and statements from audiovisual organisations: