IMAGO focuses ahead

Report from the IMAGO President, Paul René Roestad FNF.

The IMAGO General Assembly 2016

IMAGO´s General Assembly (the IAGA) will be arranged during the Manaki International Cinematographers Film Festival, in Bitola, Macedonia, 13th and 14th of September. The festival runs from September 11th to 17th, and is the oldest festival that focuses on cinematography, in the World.
It was established by the Macedonian Film Professionals Association in 1979 to honour the Manaki brothers, the first filmmakers in the Ottoman Balkans.
It is the Macedonian Film Professionals Association who will be our hosts, and IMAGO is grateful for their help, and the possibility for the IMAGO delegates to see and learn more about Bitola, Macedonia and the Manaki Festival.
More information about this will come.


Restoration and archiving of our film heritage

IMAGO has for many years been engaged in the challenge of restoration, digitisation and the archiving of our film heritage.
IMAGO has now initiated a close collaboration with ACE (Association des Cinemateques Européennes), to focus on the need to increase the work of restoring, digitisation and archiving the millions of film rolls from our vast film heritage. Film material deteriorates even under the best of storing conditions, so this work and to expand the restoring capacity is a matter of urgency. The archives needs more funding from the EU and national governments to cope with this enormous task, and more qualified personnel needs to be educated for the archives to have a sufficient qualified staff for the future. The need to focus on the useful and necessary collaboration between restorers, colourists and archive staff and the creators of the films, included directors, sound creators and cinematographers, is also important.

Many larger archives around the World already have good routines on collaboration with the cinematographers and the creative artists behind the film work, but the need for cooperation with the authors and creatives of the works needs to be further focused on to ensure maximum quality and efficiency, also in smaller archival facilities and places. The agreement also ensures that focus, but the work does not finish here. ACE and IMAGO will join forces in the future on improving conditions for archiving and restoring, also in cooperation with other Federations, and collaboration with IMAGO´s national Societies will be established to get a closer overview on how this work best should be implemented nationally.

Education - The need to learn from each other.

IMAGO arranges master-classes around Europe, and hopes to expand this work, where cinematographers meets cinematographers to exchange creative ideas and experience, to also to other places in the World. The next master class is planned by the Master Class Committee to be arranged in Amsterdam this autumn, if sufficient financing can be found.
IMAGO also collaborates with major film schools, through our Education Committee. The cinematography students of today are tomorrows cinematographers, so it is in our interest that film schools can get experienced professional cinematographers as guest lecturers.

IMAGO is planning an international educational conference in Munich next year, in cooperation with the German Film School.
The aim is to find out how IMAGO and some of our more than 4.000 members can assist the film schools in tailor making the cinematographers education.
Some of IMAGO´s member Societies feels it may be educated too many cinematographers for the market to absorb, so that will amongst much more also be on the agenda.

Gender equality

Nina Kellgren BSC is together with Elen Lotman ESC heading an IMAGO Committee that will increase focus on the necessity to address gender equality and equal opportunities for female cinematographers. 50 % of our population is represented by less than 10% amongst cinematographers, and this needs to be addressed.
The Committee is now also cooperating with partners in USA, Venezuela and Australia, on finding the best way to shed light on this challenge, and I am in no doubt more voices will soon join this important debate.

Working conditions

IMAGO is not a Union, but Working conditions are still and absolutely discussed amongst our members as a matter of serious concern, and experiences from around the World is exchanged and informed about. IMAGO is working on the possibilities to get financing to arrange an international Conference on this topic and the situation for cinematographers and other creatives, in Brussels next year.
IMAGO has applied for money for this conference through EU funds, and we will know if our application has been successful later this Autumn.

Renewed IMAGO Committee on Authorship

IMAGO works to inform our members about the situation for authorship for cinematographers in all our member countries.
In many countries cinematographers have full authorship rights, in other countries they do not.
Some of our member Societies are not so concerned with authorship, but many are, and feel something is strange when stills photographers have full authorship rights in most countries, and cinematographers have not.
During the coming IAGA, I and the Board will formally recommend to the delegates that IMAGO forms a new Authorship Committee, headed by
the leadership of Luciano Tovoli AIC ASC, so we can intensify this important work and better can focus on and inform our members about the development and the situation around the World in this area.

Jost Vacano BVK ASC and Vittorio Storaro AIC ASC has already agreed to join the IMAGO Committee as senior advisors.
We are very grateful to Vittorio and Jost for their willingness to share their vast knowledge with us in this important work.

josttt (Photo: Wikimedia commons 2015)



Jost Vacano BVK ASC wins Authorship Court Case in Germany
Jost Vacano BVK ASC has done an immense job fighting for authorship rights for many years, and he just won a court case in Germany regarding his authorship rights with the film “Das Boot”.
The German Court decided recently that Jost Vacano will receive compensation to the amount of 540.000 USD for his contribution as a cinematographer in the film production “Das Boot”. The amount is calculated from the earnings from the film from 2002 to 2014. In addition, Vacano will receive 2,25% of all future revenue.
Vacano originally asked for 3,5% of the earnings, and the producers of the film have earlier offered 1,5%, but this was refused by Vacano.
The court ruling may be appealed, but this court decision is a great step forward for all that have worked for recognition of cinematographers as artists.



New sponsor partnerships

IMAGO is in the process of negotiating new sponsor partnerships with our main partners, and the work with this will be a main focus in the coming year. The scheme is a necessary part of the Board´s plan to increase and stabilize the future funding of IMAGO. The new scheme means a closer collaboration between IMAGO and our sponsor partners, and it will benefit our members by getting more information about relevant new developments faster, and will make IMAGO able to arrange more educational seminars and master classes throughout Europe and later also the World.
If successful, the new plans will also strengthen IMAGO´s administration and work efficiency.


IMAGO is planning it´s first Award Ceremony in Helsinki in 2017. It will be the first Awards that are given entirely by Cinematographers, to Cinematographers.
This good work is headed by Ron Johanson ACS, Tony Costa AIP, Elen Lotman ESC, Timo Heinanen FSC and Tahvo Hirvonen FSC.

If the plan is condoned by the IMAGO General Assembly this autumn and we get a go-ahead, you can look forward to a magnificent Cinematographers Award Ceremony in Helsinki in October 2017, in connection with the 2017 Imago General Assembly.

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