Dear friends and colleagues,
It was, of course, a great disappointment for us all that IMAGO´s General Assembly and Awards Gala in Brussel was decided to be cancelled already on the first day of the Assembly due to the rapidly emerging Covid-19 situation. Especially after the numerous days, weeks and months of work, many of us in the IMAGO Board and Administration have invested to arrange it and to make everything as perfect as possible. Not least taken into account the invaluable help from the Belgian Society of Cinematographers, their co-presidents Lou Berghmans and Louis Philippe Capelle, and Louis Philippe´s immense work to get all organized. Many other persons in the IMAGO Board and administration also deserves to be warmly thanked for their invaluable work with the preparations, amongst them particularly Tony Costa and Ron Johansen.
We must see what has occurred as nothing but a really bad stroke of luck, and I am especially sorry for the many General Assembly delegates who had travelled for days to be present, from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina to mention a few.
We are both impressed and proud of the great number of IMAGO members who were present and ready to work for important international collaboration and solidarity between cinematographers, even with the unpredictable and emerging Corona situation.However, it was decided that cancelling was the only responsible conclusion under the circumstances, and I hope you all got home safely.
New IMAGO members at the IMAGO General Assembly (IAGA) in Brussels
A very shortened General Assembly (IAGA)...
Although the IAGA was significantly shortened due to the circumstances around Covid-19, we were able to have the IAGA vote to accept the IMAGO financial report for 2019, and to accept the proposed budget for 2020.
«A large majority of the IAGA delegates voted the AFC as a new full member of Imago. There was only an abstention from AIP the Portuguese Society.»
The IAGA voted also unanimously the admission of the Sociedad Uruguay de Cinematografia (SCU) as a new associate member and the upgrade from associate member to full member for ADFC (Colombia) and ABC ( Brazil). We are very grateful to welcome SCU as new associate member of IMAGO, and AFC, ADFC and ABC as new full members. IMAGO is counting now: 54 countries, 39 full members and 15 associate members.
Regarding the vote for admission of the ASC as new full member also scheduled at the IAGA, a misunderstanding occurred which caused the ASC to retract their application for membership just before it was to be treated by the IAGA, but the IAGA conclusion was to proceed to the voting, which was also unanimously accepted and this will make the ASC a new full member of IMAGO the day we receive their application for membership, which we hope will happen soon.
The minutes for the IAGA will be sent out to you all as soon as they are ready.
The election of a new IMAGO President.
The election of the new IMAGO President unfortunately had to be postponed during the IAGA, and we hope we will be able to arrange an Extraordinary General Assembly during the Autumn or coming Winter.
This will of course depend on the development of the Corona situation, but we will of course communicate and will keep you informed.
Until a new President is elected, Paul René Roestad FNF will remain as IMAGO´s President.
The Covid-19 / Corona situation
The Corona situation will be a pandemic which will strongly affect us all economically. We are just 3-4 weeks into it, and although we do not yet know how it will develop or long the situation will last, we can already now see it will have devastating economic effects on many sectors and in many Countries. Film and TV-productions are being closed down and/or postponed, and the situation will most likely last for months. A large proportion of cinematographers, if not the majority, work independently as self employed/free-lancers. For those of us who are employed, regulations regarding income while temporarily laid off are in place in many countries, but for those of us who invoice for our work, which are many of us, the financial safety net is most often not satisfactory in place.
After important work done by the different cultural Unions and also the Norwegian Society of Cinematographers, Norway has a few days ago implemented new regulations which will secure the income of all artists, self-employed and free-lancers, who will get 80% of their salary covered by the government after 17 days of quarantine, a salary which will be based on an average monthly income from the last three years. Not everyone has the same economic safety as Scandinavia, but IMAGO wish to work with all our members Societies to make sure your Governments and ministers are informed about the critical situation many independent authors, artists and film colleagues will be in very shortly. It will be of utmost importance for national Governments to understand the need for granting special support packages to the film and culture sector in their country to secure their adequate survival in the months ahead.
I this is not done in an adequate and satisfactory way, it will cause damaging and long-lasting negative implications for the whole film and culture sector in their Countries which may take years to recover.
Solidarity is now needed more than ever between us, we are working to look into suggestions for if and how IMAGO can help, and we will shortly come back to you all with our suggestions and questions to how this work best can be done in collaboration with your Society.
In the meantime, all of us in IMAGO asks you to please do what you can for you and your families to stay safe.
Paul René Roestad