Documentary and animation directors working through the NFB will benefit from a collective agreement for the first time, under a three-year contract signed Wednesday by the board and the Directors Guild of Canada.
The agreement, signed at a Toronto ceremony by DGC president Sturla Gunnarsson and National Film Board chair Tom Perlmutter, establishes terms and conditions for directors on all audio-visual productions at the board, and gives doc and animation helmers across the country the opportunity to join the DGC and take advantage of union protection.
The 75-page agreement was six years in the making and an ‘arduous’ process, according to Perlmutter, who sought to provide a space ‘to protect and give conditions where people can work at their best.’
‘[The agreement] opens doors for documentary and animation directors across the country to join a community… it provides comprehensive benefits,’ said Gunnarson during the ceremony, adding that filmmakers ‘don’t usually think about these things’ as they are too creatively involved in the filmmaking process.
The DGC and NFB say the deal provides strong protection and fair compensation, while being mindful of the restraints and public service mandate of the NFB.
‘We are hoping to use this agreement as an organizing tool or a template to help other directors in the private sector who do not have union protection,’ added the DGC director of director affairs Brian Baker, who also joined his colleagues at the ceremony.