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Unions flex their muscles as Hollywood scrambles to get back to work



Unions flex their muscles as Hollywood scrambles to get back to work

For an industry that is on its knees, anxiously awaiting the closure of a coronavirus that has left thousands of entertainment workers unemployed, it’s not just a place of good news but a lucrative offer.

Just before Remembrance Day, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced during the Zoom session with entertainment supporters including Netflix Content Head Ted Sarandos and Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay that in a few days, the state would issue guidelines allowing many countries to resume production, some of which last week this.

Unfortunately, that never happened.

Almost immediately after the news broke, the chorus of the union representatives weighed, making the brakes on each production imminent.

“No, the industry will not open on Monday,” said Steve Dayan, leading secretary-treasurer of Teamster Local 399, who represented the casting director, location manager and driver. “We work all the time to solve this. We need to protect our crew, but also have an obligation to protect the public. “

Newsom quickly and publicly resumed its plans. “We hope to issue the guidelines as early as today,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We want to extend it to the end of this week, maybe until the weekend, because we work with industry and the workforce and they want to tighten some aspects of their guidelines.”

It was a dramatic face, but the pushback also showed the influence of the Hollywood union and the central role they played in determining when and how the production spun again.

“That [Hollywood] trade unions are in a position to promote safety from a national perspective in a way that most unions do not have, “said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Regional Economic Center. “This is important because in this situation they suddenly become much stronger than expected.”

By highlighting health and safety issues, this pandemic has increased the important role of trade unions in creating safe working conditions. But while the current situation can make unions more leveraged, it has also created a raft of unprecedented challenges in balancing their dual role as job keepers – and safe working conditions.

For decades, when the authority and influence of organized labor in most sectors of the American economy had diminished, Hollywood unions and trade unions continued to be assertive. They have a voice in almost every aspect of filmmaking, from makeup artists to actors to master prop.

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“In many ways, this has to be the domain of the union,” said Kate Fortmueller, a professor of entertainment and media studies at the University of Georgia who focuses on employment issues.

“For decades, they have seen and implemented policies and procedures to ensure established security. That’s a big part of what they do, “he said. But he noted, with regard to the pandemic,” There are many stakeholders who are interested in making plans so that people can work. ”

In recent weeks, unions and guilds have been working separately and together, forming an industrial safety committee task force to develop a white paper to be submitted to the governors of California and New York. Various studios and production companies have also made their own plans.

Apart from reports of turf battles, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA and IATSE unions, representing crew technicians, issued a joint statement Wednesday said it had collaborated with “unprecedented frequency and productivity” in the proposed white paper. “We all want people to get back to work as soon as possible, but we have to do it right,” they said.

At present, there are many proposals being discussed but there is no uniform set of guidelines, no determination on how much these new measures will cost or who will pay for them. In addition, there was no official signing of them.

Earlier this month, the initial draft production protocol discussed at Lionsgate was leak out. Among his recommendations: computer-generated extra use instead of background actors, scouting the location of virtual reality and the adoption of “French hours,” limit shooting to 10 hours a day and give the crew a lunch break.

Other ideas that circulated between the studio and the production company included having the actor do his own hair and makeup and use a smaller crew.

Trade unions, surprisingly, have pushed back.

This month, SAG-AFTRA warned its members not to accept jobs without first consulting with the union. In a notification sent to members, he said, “No member must return to work under an existing contract or accept a contract for a new job without first securing union approval.”

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Hollywood’s largest union states that it wants to evaluate whether the employer’s production plan complies with safety protocols, state and federal guidelines and collective bargaining agreements. They also warned members not to give up employers’ responsibility for their health and safety.

In recent weeks, as several countries have been racing against production, touting incentives, facilities, low COVID-19 numbers, testing and measures to keep production safe and minimizing outbreaks, other unions are considering.

IATSE, which has employed epidemiologists to help formulate the reopening procedures, warned that the guidelines would eventually apply regardless of where the shooting took place, whether it was Georgia or Iceland.

The best course of action for unions is that although they have a lot of strength, they also have members who have been unemployed for months and are itching to return to work. In ensuring the safety of its members, unions must also be careful not to place too many burdensome conditions on the process, or they risk alienating members.

“Everyone wants to come back and make money, but we all want to live too, and we want everyone who works with us to be safe,” said Gary Lennon, showrunner in the Starz series “Hightown.” “I think there is a middle ground [and] we all have to meet there. I don’t think the union will be greedy. I think to get back to work all parties must bend. Yes, the union is in a strong position. But if the union is too difficult, we will not go back to work and it is not in the interest of anyone. “

This balancing act may require the union to make short-term concessions, but it can be difficult to recalibrate after everything returns to normal resemblance, Fortmueller said. For example, if they agree to use technology rather than background actors to reduce exposure, “How do you implement it without losing strength in the future?”

Ivy Kagan Bierman, an entertainment lawyer and partner based in Los Angeles at Loeb & Loeb, said the union was aware that their members wanted to work once more. “They know they want and need to go back to work and want to make sure they do it safely,” he said.

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Trade unions have the right to protect working conditions, as part of their collective bargaining agreement, said Bierman. At the same time, he believes that it is in their best interest to work collaboratively with the studio and other players to reach mutual agreement.

“I think it will hurt them more than helping them if they don’t do that, if members feel the union is blocking work and if the company does what they need to do to create a safe workplace,” he said.

Meanwhile, most trade union representatives argue that they can and will be able to provide reasonable solutions to protect the work and safety of members.

“It is in the best interest of everyone, both employers and workers, to produce the safest way possible to make this work and provide the same quality with the same efficiency as we always do,” said John Lindley, national president of the International Sinematographers Guild. “We can innovate ways to do it safely with the same crew that we have traditionally worked for.

“The biggest obstacle that might occur is if we return to work unsafe and sick people,” he said. “That is the obstacle that I fear and I think everyone. That is why this protocol takes a long time to be relevant and accurate and up to date. “

However you look at it, this pandemic will trigger dramatic changes in TV and film production. But this was revealed, unions tend to be in control.

“Trade unions have a far greater impact than [at] a meat packing factory or a joint car body shop, “Klowden said. “That is an important thing to remember. If a production is off track due to infection, you cannot move it to another factory. You can change the city but not the people. That is what gives unions more influence. “

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Computer exam | The PLATO mission is looking for another “Earth”. And there is a Portuguese name associated



The PLATO observatory will have 26 telescopic cameras to detect planets like ours in size, density and distance from a star orbiting thousands of sun-like stars. Portugal is actively engaged in science, development and processing of observations of this mission and will be able to name one of the cameras that are part of the mission.

The IA has now opened a vote to choose a Portuguese name, which will then be the identification of one of the cameras “during the existence of the mission in space, as a way to honor the astronomers who prepared the science that the PLATO mission will allow to advance,” can be read on the institute’s online page.

Taking into account the criteria that it must be a person who was born somewhere within the current boundaries of the territory, who contributed to astronomy in our country, especially in the study of stars and planetary systems, and who cannot be a living person, the IA proposes the following personalities:

– Teodoro de Almeida (1722-1804)

– José Monteiro da Rocha (1734-1819)

– Campos Rodriguez (1836-1919)

– Francisco de Miranda da Costa Lobo (1864-1945)

– Manuel de Barros (1908-1971)

See a brief biography of each of these personalities here and take the opportunity to vote.

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Switzerland hosts Portuguese cinema in Locarno



Europeus de motas de água vão passar em Entre-os-Rios

The film “Nasao Valente” by Carlos Conceisan is part of Film Festival in Locarnoin Switzerland in August, in an edition containing other Portuguese and co-produced works, out of competition.

According to the schedule for the 75th edition, released this Wednesday, the international feature film competition is hosting “Nacao Valente,” a feature film by Carlos Conceicao that, according to producer Terratreme Filmes, is about “the end of Portuguese colonialism, the independence of Angola.” and the Trauma of Colonial War.

The film features actors such as João Arraes, Anabela Moreira, Gustavo Sumpta and Leonor Silveira and was co-produced with France and Angola, where Carlos Conceição was born in 1979.

Carlos Conceição is the author of films such as Versailles presented in Locarno in 2013, Bad Bunny (2017), Serpentario (2019) and A Thread of Scarlet Spit (2020).

At the Locarno Film Festival, which will be held from 3 to 13 August, other Portuguese films will also be presented out of competition, namely “Where is this street? Or without before and after”, Joao Pedro Rodriguez and Joao Rui Guerra da Mata, also producer of Terratreme.

In Locarno, where they have already received awards, the two directors will present the premiere of a documentary filmed in Lisbon, revisiting the scenes of Paulo Rocha’s Os Verdes Anos (1963) with actress Isabelle Ruth.

Also out of competition and in the program dedicated to the first works will be “Objetos de Luz”, a visual reflection on the importance of light in cinematic creativity, signed by director of photography Acasio de Almeida and Marie Carré, producer of Bando à Part.

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The “Pardi di domani” competition for short and medium films features the animated film “L’ombre des papillons” by Moroccan director Sophia El Hyari, co-produced by France, Qatar, Morocco and Portugal. Cola Animation.

Day of Despair (1992), a film by Manoel de Oliveira about the last days of the life of the writer Camilo Castelo Branco, will be screened in Locarno in the Film History(s) section.

On the eve of the Locarno festival, in Piazza Grande, the animated film “No Dogs and Italians” directed by Alain Ughetto, recently awarded in Annecy, a Portuguese co-production with Ocidental Filmes, will be screened. .

Giona A. Nazzaro, second year as Artistic Director of the Locarno Festival, described this year’s program as “broad, varied and comprehensive”.


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Portuguese heritage at the Jewish cemetery in Hamburg



Portuguese heritage at the Jewish cemetery in Hamburg

The Jewish-Portuguese cemetery in Hamburg is an outstanding example of the Portuguese presence in the world, where history confirms the well-known ability of the Portuguese to adapt to the most unexpected contexts and situations.

Built in 1611 with over 1,500 graves recorded, according to some sources, the cemetery was officially closed almost a century and a half ago and is today a heavily visited site and the oldest in the city and northern Europe. You pass the gate that protects it, and the visitor is immediately enveloped in tall and scattered trees, which give shade and freshness to the tombstones inscribed in Portuguese, others in Hebrew, many covered with a veil of soot and moss, some fallen vertically.

Fleeing from Portugal due to the Inquisition at the end of the 16th century, the new Christians were well received in Hamburg, where they found a place to live without hiding their religion and Jewish rituals. Located then in one of the most noble districts of the city, the name of the Königstraße, Rua dos Reisis a reflection of this.

The land was acquired by the Portuguese merchants André Falero, Rui Cardoso and Alvaro Dinis, who won the sovereign’s favor and thus managed to ensure that “the Portuguese people could bury their dead,” the Sephardic Jews, according to the little book. Stone Archive – 400th Anniversary of the Jewish Cemetery in Königstraße. Through their actions, they have left to posterity an extraordinary legacy in which to find part of the history of Portugal and Hamburg, which certainly contributed to the fact that this city is today the most Portuguese in Germany, with countless traces of our presence, starting with the “Portuguese Quarter”, crowded with restaurants , to the old school ship Sagres anchored in port, from the ubiquitous custard tarts to the only bust of Vasco da Gama to be found abroad.

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Later, the cemetery was expanded through the acquisition of adjacent land by Ashkenazi and German Jews, where members of illustrious families such as the poet Heinrich Heine or the philosopher Mendelssohn were buried.

The cemetery withstood the passage of time, wars and Nazi bombardments. Just as he resisted the theft and anti-Semitic vandalism that hit him several times, apparently on some of the tombstones, broken or damaged.

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