The Greek Directors Guild’s primary goal has been to defend the rights of Greek directors since its foundation in 1973. To accomplish this, it has been taking action in different areas: Cooperation
The Greek Directors Guild has been cooperating with guilds and federations, domestic and foreign, that share its mission to protect cultural sector workers' rights. During its 50-year-old run, the GDG has formed a strong culture based on collaborations and joint action with relevant creative industry associations. Technicians, actors, screenwriters, musicians, and everyone involved in the creative production process desire to work with dignity, be paid appropriately and create in a secure environment. The claims of Greek Directors, after all, are often identified with those of other professionals. The GDG participates in the Panhellenic Federation of Audio-Visual Workers and other national, European and international associations, such as FERA (Fédération Européenne des Réalisateurs de l'Audiovisuel, the Federation of European Film Directors) and UNI-MEI, which represents workers in the media, entertainment, arts and sports sectors.
Being in contact with significant public sector agencies such as the Ministry of Culture and Sports and, particularly, the Department of Contemporary Culture, the Greek Film Centre, the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication-EKOME, and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation - ERT, the Greek Directors Guild exercises control over the decisions that affect Greek directors. Adherence to transparent procedures is crucial. The Guild seeks to participate in the decision-making process by bringing its ideas and proposals and negotiating based on its vision, goals, and aspirations. Whenever the rights of its members are negatively affected, the Guild takes action to inform, criticise or condemn certain decisions and propose alternatives to correct any wrongdoings. The Guild’s interventions may include protests, open letters, press releases to educate the public, etc.
Labour law and working conditions
The Greek Directors Guild strives to protect the labour rights of Greek Directors. It thoroughly examines labour laws and bills and continuously exerts the necessary pressure to establish the optimal employment status within the film, theatre and television industry. So far, the Greek Directors Guild has established a trans-union committee that organised the 3rd Labour-Film Conference, where Greek and renowned European directors shaped new bills regarding the film industry that the Ministry of Culture did not approve. The Guild has also created the non-profit organisation SEE and agreed with national television to raise directors' wages by 90%. It ensured that more than 100 young directors would work on national television productions and get paid based on the number of episodes they would deliver. The Guild created a support line for directors. It has taken steps to cover directors’ insurance fees and raise the number of retired directors that receive honorary pensions. The Guild’s branch in Thessaloniki (founded in 2001) supports hundreds of directors in Northern Greece. The Guild designed a large-scale programme that includes screening decades of films in various locations across Greece in collaboration with the Municipal Movie Theatres Network and the Federation of Greek Cinema Clubs.
During the past few years, the spread of the coronavirus has undoubtedly afflicted all creative professionals in Greece and worldwide. At the same time, the fundamental problems of Greek creative professionals’ status emerged, as most were forced to deal with prolonged periods of unemployment. Since the beginning of the public health crisis, the Greek Directors Guild pressured state officials to provide financial assistance to the creative sector and Greek directors. The Guild also launched crucial initiatives, providing its members with information and guidance regarding the measures and available financial aid. The Guild’s vision for the post-pandemic era follows the broader European aspirations. We insist that the cultural and creative sectors be included when planning the recovery strategy and be regarded as an integral part of it.