The South African Guild of Actors hosted a series of conferences in Johannesburg and Cape Town aimed at strengthening actors’ rights to decent working conditions and fair compensation. SAGA is of course fortunate to have the unreserved support of influential players around the world, as we strive towards establishing international best practices within our own industry.
Since 2012, the Guild has been a full member of the International Federation of Actors (FIA). FIA is a global federation of performers’ trade unions, guilds and professional associations, representing several hundred thousand performers with some 90 member organisations in more than 60 countries around the world.
SAGA sits on the FIA Technical Working Group concerned with amending the outdated pieces of legislation which are currently in the process of being tabled in parliament. Actors can look forward to their share of revenue generated as their body of work is commercially exploited on the various platforms and markets that continue to find audiences.
Through FIA, SAGA enjoys direct access to sister organisations such as Canada’s ACTRA, British Equity, SLC in Italy and Germany’s GDBA & BFFS. Since South Africa has entered into co-production treaties with each of these territories, it’s vital that the various actors’ representative bodies coordinate their efforts.
FIA President Ferne Downey agrees:
“As producers consolidate their power – becoming large, vertically integrated corporations with ever-greater international reach – professional performers must build even stronger international solidarity and work towards global agreements to protect performers’ rights. We must fight to ensure every performer gets the benefit of a union contract, a safe work environment, and a fair share of the revenue that is generated from the exploitation of their work in all media”.
At the FIA-sponsored conferences SAGA shared knowledge and building capacity including sessions with actors’ agents in both Johannesburg and Cape Town to align with universal industry practice.
Other items on the agenda was “Disability in the Entertainment Industry”; an examination of “Discrimination Policy and Practice”, including LGBT issues and questions of sexual harassment. Contractual matters and concerns with outbound international touring theatre productions and inbound film projects got an airing, as did the bread-and-butter business of television commercials and language dubbing.