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Oz producers joining FIAPF

Bodies to send reps to general assembly in May

SYDNEY — Aussie producers are trying to block the extension of Screen Actors Guild rates Down Under by joining international producers federation FIAPF.

SAG pay and conditions don’t apply to non-Hollywood films shot in Australia on budgets of less than A$15 million ($12 million).

Screen Producers Assn. of Australia chief exec Geoff Brown wants to negotiate a deal with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance for films costing above that level but says union reps won’t come to the table.

“Together with the producers associations in the U.K. and Canada, we’re opposed to any further rollout of SAG pay and conditions. As independent industries, we can’t afford the rates paid by the U.S. studios,” he said. “It’s important for us to be represented at the major international forum that represents producers’ interests.”

New Zealand’s Screen Production and Development Assn. has also joined FIAPF. It has no agreement with SAG, as the Kiwi industry is not unionized. But Spada chief exec Penelope Borland says her members are concerned over a possible merger between the local Actors Equity and MEAA being voted on this month.

“We do not think our actors should work under the same conditions as in Australia,” she said.

The Australasian bodies will send reps to FIAPF’s general assembly during the Cannes fest in May, and Brown and Borland say there will be closer collaboration between their orgs on various issues.

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