IGF 2021 – Day 4 – Launch / Award Event #51 A Vision for the Internet from the Professional Audiovisual Content Sector

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> We all live in a digital


We all need it to be open and


we all want to trust.

     >> And to be trusted. 

     >> We all despise control.

     >> And desire freedom. 

     >> We are all united. 

     >> BERTRAND MOULLIER: Good morning, my name is Bertrand Moullier.  I represent International Federation of Film Producers Associations.  We will start in a second.  Just waiting on feedback from the IGF moderator.  Give me a minute.  Are we ready to roll? 

Okay.  Thank you very much, we'll make a start then.  So good morning I'm Bertrand Moullier, I'm representing the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, which is the FIAPF, it is a French anagram.  FIAPF is made of producers from 29 countries, currently, from throughout the world.  Our constituency is made up of producers of the entire range of audio visual production.  That is film, TV programs, other individual programs for online only.  Et cetera.

We currently have national member organizations in Poland, Argentina, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, UK, U.S.A., et cetera.  And informal working relationships with quite a few more producer organizations around the world. 

Most of which is important to us, companies with emerging audio visual capabilities in the industry.  I'll come back to that later.  We meet to discuss global issues and speak with one voice on all development, and technologies, laws, registrations that directly or indirectly affect the ability of our industry to remain economically sustainable.  Being sustainable, let me say what we mean by that.  It is not just about balancing the books.

Being sustainable is having sufficient resources available to enable us as business enterprises to play our part fully in fostering dynamic cultural exchanges and reflecting how people live and what occupies their hearts and minds.

In the next 15 minutes I will talk about what audio visual producers do in their working lives and discuss how the growth of the Internet and the audio visual data sector are closely linked and why it matters for the U.N. and Member States to incentivize our sector synchronously with the Internet services and structures, pardon me.

I will end with a shopping list of principles that we hope will help lead to more joined up approaches to policies and incentives based on the better understanding of what a sustainable, local audio visual production system can do for the growth of Internet and vice versa.

On Tuesday, this week, in a Nigeria lightning talk.  5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., rather, this week on Tuesday, I was in conversation with Sara MiG me.  She's the CEO of protele studios, based in Nairobi, Kenya.  From there they produce content to reflect the social conversation, social political issues that affect people in Kenya, what their dreams and aspirations may be, what angers them, scares them, makes them laugh, what gives hope, how they fall in and out of love, handle family relations and other life transitions.

Like all produces everywhere in the world, Sara is first and foremost a storyteller.  Before she and her team can shoot a single frame of the TV series sitcom or anything they will have spent months sometimes years to consider what will best amplify and dramatize life in the richly complex and multicultural setting of Kenya.  She and the teams will hire writers to give shape to the story line and characters and they will have cast the actors to point to the Directors and hopefully convince local TV channels or online platforms to buy the finished product of the long, complex, costly, risky creative gestation.

This is what happened with protele's format, the real housewives.  The show which went on air for the first time in 2014 was an immediate hit with Kenya viewers.  It is still running today, with the lasting appeal.  The colorful and house helps of the title endear themselves with Kenya viewers because they echo the own lives, social moires, the fun, joy, generosity, manifest in so many ordinary lives.  In the show, they speak mostly Sheng.  It is a Kenya language that people use as a lingual Franco in the States of Nairobi and other cities.  We see here the importance of audio visual works and maintaining the buoyancy of local languages.

Much further to the northwest where Sara and her team live and work, we find Mohammad.  He's Egyptian and runs a prolific Cairo based business making films and series streamers.  It is a clinic that is a company that commercializes the films Mohammad and his team make.  They distribute them in the Arab world, the Diaspora and world at large.

His business model is different from Sara, he makes films designed for the cinema at initial release and market.  She makes television drama, sitcoms, lifestyle programs, sports programs, all of which are for television and OTT platform.  That is about all the difference between them. 

     Like Sara, Mohammad too is a storyteller, first and foremost.  Like Sara, Mohammad will spend a long time, years sometimes developing a film taking it to a complex and outline and script writing process all without guarantee to eventually be able to raise funds for the project to become a reality and finished product you can enjoy. 

For four years four years, 2013‑2616 Mohammad and his family got behind a Director.  It was a co‑production, painstakingly put today by Mohammad and his team, involving Egypt, Germany, and France with the award winning film clash.  The title says it all.  It all takes place inside a police van during a demonstration in Cairo, in which a confrontation between two opposite sides descend into violence.  Locked up inside the van, a small number of demonstrators from both sides slowly learn to come to terms with the differences.  The film had a character of political and moral urgency.  At the heart is a striking plea for fractured Groups in the country to find a pathway to necessary dialogue and renewal of social cohesion.  That was the sum of it.

The texture of the film was local, but like many other works and humble sitcoms to feature films, the content had and still has universal elements.

I could go on like this, because the two examples I have just given can too easily be multiplied by looking at what audio visual producers do, and the essential, social, cultural role they perform all over the world.  Not just Kenya, Egypt, or the Middle East.

But what may you ask, could any of this possibly have to do with IGF's preoccupation with the development, governance, and regulation of the global Internet?  Let me give you an idea.

We were ... that is we, the audio visual sector as I established, the storytellers.  We don't have a monopoly on stories, of course we don't.  Nobody does.  Cultures perish with only the few control and dictate the stories that define and animate them.  But through the mastery of the complex professional skills required to make audio visual works be the high standard expected by consumers, people such as Sara and Mohammad are especially well placed to margin, conceive, and give audio visual form to stories to be enjoyed by the many and the few.

As storytellers we use any new technology and business models that is formed to the same end.  Communicating to as many people as possible the stories we have put in audio visual form.

In what follows, I will briefly ‑‑ very briefly, outline core principles and policy priorities that we at FIAPF and wider community of audio visual producers wish to see established and implemented.  We believe the principles and priorities are fully aligned with the U.N. millennial development goals and sustainable development goal, we believe these principles and policies they should inspire should help ensure that there is the best possible use of the Internet and enhanced power of dissemination.  In doing so it will be properly empowered itself to fulfill its role as a facilitator for cultural exchange and cohesion in this extraordinarily successful technology for the sharing of knowledge and culture.

So the first principle is that Internet growth and sustainable audio visual production are conjoined factors, as I said in the beginning.  We need our policies to reflect this fact.  It is an established fact that people's appetite for audio visual work, for treatment or education or both.  Sometimes entertainment can be educational.  Drives the demand for connection.  Both took the business risks I described above need to be active participants in the development of the Internet globally.  In the expansion of the social and cultural impact, we want in, not out.

We want all stakeholders in the global Internet to include us in the formulation of meaningful governance, principles, policies.

The fact that audio visual content made by the professional industry is a strategic drive of growth is reflected in international policy and regulations.

There is a lack of joined policy for stimulus measures of connectivity and uptake and incentivizing of the domestic audio visual production.  It is as if the two existed in separate silos, policy‑wise.  We urge Governments and the multilateral system to consider the need for integrating and combining incentives for Internet growth with incentives for the development of sustainable, local audio visual production.  Again, what we mean by ‑‑ ahem ‑‑ excuse me.  What do we mean by sustainable, in this instance is an ecosystem that produces the audio visual content can make a career out of making and disseminating works that are culturally, linguistically, and socially relevant to the cultures that they participate and break down barriers as content travels across borders?

Excuse me.  The second thing is of course the need for universal broadband.  Ubiquitous connectivity and quality connectivity are shared goals for all stakeholders of IGF.  Of courses the individual production sector unreservedly supports the IGF goal of connectivity of people everywhere.  Improved and expanded connectivity translates into growing opportunities for producers and creative partners to reach new users and satisfy the need for quality culture, entertainment, and education.

The third policy principle is safety and security online.  This as we have seen has been a salient issue on the discussion of this IGF and past positions of the annual IGF.  Consumers, businesses, Governments must trust that their safety and security are protected online.  With the Internet economy can continue to grow and social dividend to pay off. 

IP protection, intellectual property protection is an essential part of user safety and security.  It is a fallacy to suggest copyright and other IP rights are for the privileged few.

The laws and regulations protect all creations of the spirit everywhere, including audio visual works.  They protect small companies and large companies.  They enable smaller entrepreneurs, which is Sara and Mohammad and thousands of the producers working with vision and passion around the world to convert theirs and their team's talent and hard work into creative assets to sustain them and the jobs created locally.

IP laws are only as effective as those that use them.  We call on Governments and U.N. to place more emphasis on training and education for people in the creative industries and in particular, the audio visual sector as being especially the IP intensive complex.  This is always an aggregation of various rights.  It is rightful for producers to bear the brunt of the responsibility for making content should be aware of the importance of chain of title, copy and other documentation.  In this way, they will be able to ensure the creative assets that generate the dually protected and valued for the participation of all ‑‑ a call for far more training efforts to be deployed.

The next principle is freedom of expression.  Free expression is critical ‑‑ excuse me.  It is critical to the creative industries as vehicles for the cultural conversation and broader implications in the field of social life and political debate.

However, we also recognize the precept of the necessity the right to free expression is not absolute.  There are longstanding limitations on the question where it impinges on the rights of others and their integrity hate speech or racial violence, and the limitations need to be exercised consistently with international standards everywhere.

Similarly, we oppose any Internet service justifying inaction in the face of intellectual property rights violation by instrumentalizing or hiding behind this interim of expression defense.

The next principle is that the Internet is not the only future for audio visual distribution.  We need to maintain the diversity of media and mode of consumption.  The importance of audio visual content is a driver for Internet development, the well documented fact this should not mean Governments and multilateral system consider the future of the economy as necessarily destined to be entirely online.

Audio visual content production is inherently risky, requiring considerable up‑front investment and some costs with little possibility of forecasting revenue from the exploitation of the rights in the finished film or audio visual content.

In order to exist, and to thrive the culture sector, we need a diversity of production formats and distribution opportunities.

This diversity benefits consumers, too, because they then are the greater choice of media and platforms for a range of options and pricing points, compatible with the spending power, depending where you are in the world.  This means public policies and incentives should be focused on the long‑term viability of social media other than online, linear project TVs, despite the forced predictions of the imminent demise by online determinists.  The cinema is also damages I had actus caused by COVID is a popular form of consumption of single audio visual works and the launch market for films that builds awareness from audiences on the future online expectation.

You have to look at what is happening in Nigeria, where the number of cinemas are growing.  And more and more premiere in Nigeria cinemas.

We support the sound Government structures.  That is the object behind incentive icing and governing the Internet is to create a secure environment based on the rule of law, transparency, and accountability.  The public interest should be foremost in the minds of all IGF stakeholders with the protection of Internet users and consumers especially prominent as outlined further up. 

FIAPF and the constituent members are committed to open, transparent, multistakeholder processes to meet this goal.  IGF can and already does play an important part in such a process.  We believe that to be successful, all members of the Internet community must be meaningfully involved in fostering rights and responsibilities, community forms and the protection of core values such as respect for the consumer, connectivity for all, security, all principles I was outlining earlier on.

IGF support ‑‑ I will finish with this, to the inclusion of the audio visual sector, that this is encouraging and should be extended in the years to come in the well documented connection that I outlined twice between Internet infrastructure and the demand for local audio visual content.

If you wish to understand more about the sector, visit our website.  If you Google FIAPF, WWW.FIAPF.org.  You will find resources there.  We updated the website design and will launch a new version in the next few weeks, where you can find several resources and short videos in working with audio visual producers all over the world.

     I thank you for your attention and wish you successful conclusion to the 2021 IGF.  And I thank on FIAPF's behalf all the tireless staff at the IGF 2021 Secretariat for your support.  If there are questions unmute and ask.  We have a little less than 10 minutes left now.