SAG-AFTRA Encourages Members to Attend Fall Festivals to Promote Interim Agreement Films

“This is what solidarity looks like,” national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland says

duncan crabtree ireland picket line sag aftra
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland (Getty Images)

SAG-AFTRA is ramping up its call to members who are working on projects approved for the guild’s interim agreement to promote them at the upcoming fall film festivals in Venice, Telluride and Toronto.

“This is what solidarity looks like. We are proud of our members who demonstrate the various ways to bolster the strike effort. Whether it’s walking a picket line, working on approved Interim Agreement productions or maintaining employment on one of our other permissible, non-struck contracts, our members’ support for their union is empowering and inspiring,” the guild’s national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland wrote in a statement.

SAG-AFTRA has ramped up its efforts to communicate the strategy and process behind its interim agreement to its members and the media after some within the actors guild voiced skepticism about its effectiveness and confusion with how it was being implemented.

This has included multiple press conferences and Q&A sessions among members to explain the criteria behind approving specific productions that are not produced by studios represented by the AMPTP. To qualify for the interim agreement, independent productions must adhere to all of the terms in the most recent contract proposal submitted by the guild to the AMPTP prior to the start of SAG-AFTRA’s strike last month.

Some projects that have been approved have already completed filming and are set to premiere at upcoming film festivals without a major studio attached, such as Michael Mann’s biopic “Ferrari” starring Adam Driver, which has Neon attached as distributor.

SAG-AFTRA has also urged the media to not refer to the interim agreement as waivers, saying that it is an inaccurate term to describe a “complete, separate and distinct contract that includes all terms and conditions for producers looking to employ our members on their specific independent productions.”

“The Interim Agreement is a vital part of our strategic approach and was created for several reasons, all of which are aimed at protecting the interests of our members. The Agreement demonstrates to the AMPTP and the struck companies that independent producers at all budget levels are eager, keen and able to work with our members under these terms,” Crabtree-Ireland said.

“We encourage SAG-AFTRA members to audition for and appear in projects that have been approved for an Interim Agreement, and applaud them for promoting their work in these productions,” he added.

Last week, Crabtree-Ireland told reporters that the guild leadership does not believe that projects approved for the interim agreement will be used by AMPTP studios as a way to acquire new films to stream during the guild’s strike, as the agreement requires that distributors also adhere to the terms of SAG-AFTRA’s latest contract proposal.

That proposal includes terms in which distributors share a portion of the film’s streaming revenue based on its viewership, something that is considered a major sticking point with the AMPTP and which the guild believes that streamers like Netflix would not agree to in any acquisition deals for interim agreement projects at film festivals.