First Film and Audiovisual Law Conference

The evolution of the audiovisual content sector in the last 5 years, the changes to come in the next decade and the main issues to focus on - these were the underlying themes being discussed in the first Film and Audiovisual Law Conference, organized by FEST - Associação Cultural. The event took place in Espinho, on the weekend of April 30th and May 1st, with the purpose of opening up a conversation about the new tendencies in Law within the film and audiovisual sector.

On Saturday, we had the privilege of welcoming the speakers that would enlighten us on several interesting subjects - Kami Naghdi, Rusta Minazi, Andreas Pense, Gareth Wiley and Nastasja Borgeot. The weekend started early in the morning with a session about copyright, the film and TV value chain, and the agreements associated with collaborations and co-productions. 

In the afternoon, we dived into writer and director agreements, while also going over financing sources and structures in film and television, a subject from which there is little to no discussion within the industry, so it was appreciated by the attendees to be able to participate and learn with transparency the technical aspects of the matter. The conference proceeded with a conversation focused on the hot issues in the film and television sector, which sparked a lot of debate and was a great conduction to a talkative and interesting networking event to end the first day.

The second day of FEST Film Law was all about understanding the past and looking forward to the changing future of the audiovisual content sector. It began with an exchange of views on the evolution of the field in the last 5 years - the golden age of television, the intricate business affairs between producers and streaming production companies like Netflix, and even the fast-growing demand for talent and innovative ideas to create quality content.

After an uplifting coffee break, it was time to step into the near future and understand how NFTs and Blockchain can become a new trend within film and television. The talk was led by Nastasja Borgeot, who was able to introduce the audience to these recent concepts and explain how one can take advantage of it in audiovisual content creation. It was given the example of Philip Colbert, a renowned artist, who sold out his NFT’s through building a community around it beforehand. The same thing is already being done while producing a film, bringing to life the concept of a collaborative film, in which every person that purchased an NFT has the right to participate in the creative process through exclusive meetings on Discord, meaning that you’re financing the project and at the same time building a community that will endorse its release. Does this mean that the director loses all the decision-making to the collaborators? That depends on the agreed upon terms included in the smart contract - another concept to get updated on.

The Web3 or “the intelligent web” is the universe in which all of this is possible - NFT’s, artificial intelligence, VR and so on. What does this new internet era mean for film and television? In general, it means immersive storytelling, going beyond the physical frontiers and scaling to the masses, while also adding new perspectives to the production and consumption of audiovisual projects. Traditional projects will continue to persevere, but there’s also room for innovative ones to appear in non-physical realms - there are no limits to film and television.

It was a great weekend of learning and sharing with people interested in the area, and we will return with more editions of this Film and Audiovisual Law Conference.