Thomas Short, president of IATSE, the largest film production union in the US and Canada, as well as first vice president of UNI-MEI, chaired this event. Some 60 participants from over 30 production unions, including at least small numbers from all continents, took part. While most participants were from technical crafts a number of new contacts from screenwriters and directors organizations also attended.
The conference called for more cross-border union cooperation in co-productions, more sharing of information regarding contracts and reputations of producers, more attention to assuring that international productions fulfill legal welfare payments and requirements, among other issues. The theme of the conference was “Culture and Commerce.”
As in similar dialogues in the past, it was agreed ahead of time that no further over-all resolutions on the issues would be taken. UNI-MEI’s world organization has a policy strongly endorsing cultural diversity. UNI-MEI’s regions and affiliates sometimes have different emphases as to how this can best be achieved.
After the conference, at a reception offered by the French union hosts, participants were able to view two feature films from Africa, arranged by CFOT and OGT unions. The first was “Almodou,’ written and directed by Amadou of Senegal, who participated in the conference, and the second “Oar es Salaam,’ by Sege Celo of Chad.