Anti-runaway stance boosts Dunham

Lenser prexy wins campaign race

Members of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild have tapped Gary Dunham as president by a 52%-48% margin over Stephen Lighthill, after a campaign stressing the need for a more confrontational stance on fighting runaway production.

“We have to do more than simply wait for federal legislation because that position has not been effective or expedient,” Dunham told Daily Variety. “Our members are hurting badly because of runaway production.”

The ICG, operating as Local 600 of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, has about 5,700 eligible members and is the most prominent below-the-line Hollywood union. About 30% of eligible members voted.

Dunham headed the Coalition for a Democratic Union slate, which also won four other national seats including Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who was re-elected second national VP; Tom Weston, who won the national VP seat; Paul Ferrazzi, national secretary-treasurer; and Gabor Kover, national assistant secretary-treasurer.

Dunham’s slate also campaigned on the platform of making the operations of the ICG more accessible to members.

National first VP Rusty Burrell and national sergeant-at-arms Frank Miller, who reside in Orlando, Fla., were unopposed.

Lighthill headed the Unite 600 slate, which was endorsed by retiring president George Spiro Dibie. Lighthill also stressed he would continue to press for legislative remedies to stop studios from filming overseas.

In early April, Dibie strongly criticized Rep. Diane Watson, head of the Congressional Entertainment Caucus, for her letter to Jack Valenti seeking his help in convincing the producers of “Cinderella Man” to film in the U.S. rather than in Canada. Dibie contended Watson — who had 39 co-signers — had not consulted with leaders of Hollywood unions before drafting the letter.

Dunham said Dibie’s criticism of Watson was unwarranted, adding, “She has stuck her neck out for us and we should support her 100%.”

Dunham also issued a conciliatory statement to members, saying, “In the final analysis, we all want the same things. It’s time for us all to come together and take our union in a new direction.”

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