#StorytellingMatters Interview with... Hervé Rony, Managing Director at La Scam

Sunny Side of the Doc 2021 aims at helping bring to light talents and stories which question, engage and impact.Through a series of #StorytellingMatters interviews, discover the vision of our most influential partners in the international documentary ecosystem

Be together! Please introduce yourself and tell us briefly what your company’s main objective at Sunny Side of the Doc.

Founded in 1981, La Scam (the Civil Society of Multimedia Authors, a society which collects and distributes royalties for authors) brings together more than 45,000 authors, in particularly documentary makers, in France, Belgium and also, not forgetting, Canada. It collects around €110 million in royalties mainly from television channels and platforms which it distributes to its members, making it one of the biggest royalty distribution societies dedicated to non-fiction in the world.
Of course, it defends authors’ interests, such as defending their rights and promoting their work. It has also taken an active role in European discussions surrounding the EU directive on copyright and related rights, as well as the AVMSD directive.

Be positive! What has been your greatest professional accomplishment over the last 12 months? What lead to this success?

In relation to the above, we are satisfied with the main developments on a European level for supporting authors. The copyright directive forces all platforms to negotiate rights, including when works are circulated on social media. For example, negotiations with Facebook will be successful. However, I’d like to point out that while waiting to implement these laws, I am delighted to say we have an agreement with Google for YouTube.
What’s more, the AVMSD should be praised for establishing obligations for disseminating original European works.  And let’s not forget to highlight the importance of state aid, as well as the support provided by companies like La Scam, during the pandemic to financially support our members. 


Be inventive! What new strategies are you looking to develop in order to attract international partners as well as provide engaging content in 2021/2022?  

La Scam is working hard to negotiate rights with online operators. I already mentioned YouTube, there’s Netflix too with whom we signed an interesting agreement. There’s also podcast agreements too. It can often be very complicated but I remain confident for the future. We will have agreements with all SVOD platforms.    

Be aware! This year’s marketplace event aims at helping bring to light talents and stories which question, engage and impact. To that extent, do you have a favourite documentary piece from 2021?

I’m sorry, it’s too hard to pick just one. I was particularly moved by two documentary films from France Télévisions Infra Rouge on France 2: Bouche Cousue by Karine Dusfour on child abuse; and Scars by Didier Cros, about people with disfigured faces. What documentary often brings is tremendous emotion through words and/or images without altering the truth. I also can’t not mention the absolutely wonderful film by Yves Jeuland on Chaplin.    

Be inclusive! How is your organisation stepping up to the challenge of fulfilling a mandate for a diversity of voices and a more inclusive pipeline of upcoming storytellers across the entire production process?

I must point out that La Scam, which has been chaired by women for the past eight years, signed the “For Women in Media” charter initiated by the French Ministry of Culture in January 2020, as well as the charter of industry professionals in favor of diversity and inclusion from the 50/50 collective during Fipadoc 2020. Finally, we are going to publish an annual review on the role of women in our sector. The first publication Autrices et auteurs, 2009-2019, was published on 21st January, offering an overview of the decade and its mixed results.

The truth is that, with the arrival of the latest generations of female auteurs, although there are more women than men, the latter continue to dominate. There is still some way to go and La Scam is actively looking to move things forwards even though it is also obviously up to male producers and broadcasters to do so too.

When it comes to diversity, there is still certainly a long way to go. Documentary makers are rarely from diverse backgrounds. Again, the sector must be more willing to change.     

Be inspired! Who would you want to put on the spotlight at Sunny Side of the Doc 2021, for some well-earned recognition? And why?

Irrespective of those featured on our eagerly awaited annual list of 30 Stars for the best documentaries and the industry’s latest news, this year our stance will focus on analysing the different documentary grants available regionally in France.
We are going to publish a report outlining the regional systems and what our authors expect concerning the topic. And I must say, Paris is no longer the alpha and omega of creation. France’s regions have a lively dynamic. And La Scam has close ties to developing the audiovisual industry regionally. Sunny Side of the Doc is the perfect place for launching discussions and moving things forward.     

documentary  |  Interview  |  #SSD21  |  Storytelling Matters  |  Sunny side of the Doc 2021



By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We do not share your data with third parties. You can unsubscribe at any time.