Some of the biggest names in feature film directing from the UK have come together to support Directors UK’s new Creative Rights Minimum Terms for Fiction Feature Film.

Leading directors including Amma Asante, Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha, Sarah Gavron, Jim Gillespie, Paul Greengrass, Tom Hooper, Mike Leigh, Philippa Lowthorpe, Kevin Macdonald, John Madden, Roger Michell, Tony Palmer, Alan Parker, Lynne Ramsay, Guy Ritchie, Iain Softley, Charles Sturridge, Susanna White, Mat Whitecross, David Yates and more have expressed their support for a list of minimum terms to be added to every film director’s contract to protect the directors’ creative rights.

Directors UK has today launched the new Creative Rights Minimum Terms following consultations with directors themselves and with key industry stakeholders. The new terms are supported by Pact, the BFI, the British Film Commissioner, BBC Films, Film4, the Production Guild and the agents’ body the Personal Managers Association. UK film directors and their agents will require these to be incorporated in their contracts for all fiction feature films.

The new minimum terms were developed to establish reasonable best practice and define a core set of requirements that will allow a director to execute his or her work in the most efficient way, during prep, production and post production. The terms will help directors – particularly those at the beginning of their career – to protect their creative rights, improve their working conditions and prevent the erosion of the directors’ role.

Directors UK believes that protecting the creative rights of directors not only enhances the quality of the work but improves the efficiency and cost effectiveness of its creation.

Iain Softley, former Directors UK Film Chair, and director of Hackers, Inkheart, K-PAX and The Outcast, said: “Reaction to our document has been very positive. There is recognition that the creative rights we are asking for ought to be the least that any director should have, and that protection of these rights will benefit producers, financiers and the quality of the film itself.”

Susanna White, Chair of Directors UK Film Committee, and director of Woman Walks Ahead, Our Kind of Traitor and Generation Kill said: “We believe these new terms will help create better industry practices that will create a fairer and equal environment for all directors to progress in the industry, especially those from under-represented groups. The terms will protect and support directors at every level of their careers.”

Max Rumney, Deputy CEO at Pact, said: “Independent Producers recognise the importance of the creative partnership that they have with directors during the course of the production process and welcome the Directors UK Creative Minimum Terms, which set out clear and fair terms and best practice for the engagement of directors”.

Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films said: “BBC Films welcome the Directors UK Minimum Creative Rights Terms, which will protect, support and nurture directors, particularly those starting out in their careers.”

Andrew Chowns, CEO of Directors UK said: “Established directors will have become accustomed to more extensive rights than those defined by these terms, but directors who are just starting out don’t always get them. These terms set the new standard for producers as well as directors.”

Roger Michell, former Directors UK Film Chair, and director of Notting Hill, Changing Lanes and My Cousin Rachel, said: "It’s our view that these quite modest minimum creative terms will lead to better films, better and more efficiently and economically made."

Initially drawn up by the Directors UK Film Committee, the initiative has been spearheaded by former Directors UK Film Chairs Iain Softley and Roger Michell, along with director Jim Gillespie and Directors UK CEO Andrew Chowns.

The full Directors UK Creative Rights Minimum Terms for Fiction Feature Film Appendix is available to read at here

Jon Creamer

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