A message from IMAGO (about COVID-19)
Sadly, as with so many events, the planned IMAGO Expo and Awards presentation had to be cancelled. As previously reported, GTC sponsor and Dick Hibberd winner Johan Hellsten of Easyrig had been due to pick up the IMAGO International Award for Extraordinary Technical Achievement. See all this year's winners.
In the aftermath of the cancellation, the President of IMAGO issued a message in which he touches on the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the Film & TV industry (extracts of which are reproduced below).
A message from IMAGO
It was, of course, a great disappointment for us all that the decision was made to cancel IMAGO´s General Assembly and Awards Gala in Brussel on the first day of the Assembly due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, especially after the 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 was 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 everything organised. Many other people on the IMAGO Board and administration also deserves to be warmly thanked for their incredible work with the preparations, particularly Tony Costa and Ron Johansen....
The Coronavirus epidemic
The current Coronavirus situation is a pandemic that will strongly affect us all economically. At the moment, 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/freelancers. 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 freelancers, who will get 80% of their salary covered by the government after 17 days of quarantine. This salary 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. If 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 can be done in collaboration with your society.
In the meantime, all of us at IMAGO asks you to please do what you can for you and your families to stay safe.
Paul René Roestad
Read the whole message.