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Film News Roundup: Casting Directors Ratify 3-Year Deal on Successor Contract

In today’s film news roundup, casting directors have a new master contract, Roy Wood, Jr., is hosting the WGA Awards in New York, and the Santa Barbara Film Festival unveils its opening and closing films.

CONTRACT RATIFICATION

Casting directors and casting associates have ratified a three-year successor agreement to its master contract with studios and networks, covering about 400 professionals in Los Angeles and 100 in New York.

Reps for Teamsters Local 399 in Hollywood and Local 817 in New York reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after four days of talks last month. Ratification meetings were held Thursday.

Local 399 secretary-treasurer Steve Dayan said the negotiations were difficult but led to significant improvements in the deal, which expires on Sept. 30, 2021. Details have not yet been released.

“We are very proud of each and every one of our Casting Steering Committee Members from both Teamsters Local 399 and Teamsters Local 817,” he said. “Without their support, insight and guidance on the pressing issues our Members’ faced, we would not have been able to secure a fair and improved contract with the AMPTP.”

The casting directors were able to obtain their first union contract in 2005 following an organizing campaign that lasted three years. The next major Hollywood labor contract to expire will be SAG-AFTRA’s deal with the ad industry on March 31 with negotiations set to begin in mid-February.

AWARDS HOST

Roy Wood, Jr., correspondent for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” will host the 71st annual Writers Guild Awards at New York’s Edison Ballroom on Feb. 17.

“Writers are the red blood cells of film and television,” said Wood. “And there’s no greater reward than the respect of your peers. I am honored to host what will surely be the final WGA Awards before the studios attempt to replace all writers with some sort of Siri/Alexa algorithm sh*t.”

Wood was named the host of Comedy Central’s “This Is Not Happening” in 2017 and his first Comedy Central one-hour stand-up special, “Father Figure,” premiered that year. The second – “Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You” – premieres on Jan. 25.

Presenters at the show will include Jimmy Fallon, Ellie Kemper, Mj Rodriguez, Tony Shalhoub and Kenan Thompson. Chelsea Peretti is hosting the concurrent West Coast WGA award ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton.

FESTIVAL LINEUP

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will open and close with two films about the Santa Barbara community, in order to acknowledge last year’s mudslides in Montecito that left 20 people dead.

The festival, now in its 34th edition, will open Jan. 30 at the Arlington Theatre with the world premiere of “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy,” directed by Mimi deGruy. The documentary filmmaker had been an active advocate of ocean creatures before dying in a 2012 helicopter crash in Australia while filming for James Cameron.

The festival will close Feb. 9 at the Arlington with surfing documentary “Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story,” directed by Wyatt Daily. The event will feature 63 world premieres and 59 U.S. premieres from 48 countries.

“After the tragedy last year in Santa Barbara, we questioned whether to go ahead with last year’s festival, but we came to realize the importance of film as a way for people to gather in an equalitarian way to reflect, feel and simply experience art together,” said Roger Durling, executive director.

“We have entered this year with a renewed sense of purpose and continuity with the festival and understand more than ever the important role we play in the community,” he added. “As such, we have chosen to bookend our festival with two films about iconic people and places in Santa Barbara to highlight the resilience, vitality and the talent within the Santa Barbara community.”

 

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