The DGA has fast-tracked nearly $9 million in foreign levies to 5,000 directors over the past week, the guild said today. On average, that’s about $1,800 per director. As production remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the guild said that it has “continued its work to expedite vital income when it is most needed.”
“This present situation sheds light on why we fight so hard to advance our members’ rights, and the difference it can make,” said DGA national executive director Russell Hollander. “Similar to our efforts with residuals, the DGA has been working around the clock to expedite distribution of this biannual run of foreign levies when it’s most needed. And also similar to residuals, foreign levies are a stream of income that would not have been possible without our Guild’s decades-long fight to financially connect members to the success of their work.”
Foreign levies are fees collected by foreign countries to compensate rights holders for the re-use, copying, rental and retransmission of their films and television shows. “This income to members, as well as non-member directors, was made possible by the DGA’s successful efforts over three decades ago to negotiate agreements with foreign collecting societies, and challenge the studios’ claims to these monies,” the guild said.
Through the years, the DGA foreign levies department has distributed over $242 million to directors – including more than $28 million to 6,700 non-members – and donated over $3.5 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund. The WGA, which also collects foreign levies for its members, has distributed a similar amount to writers.
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