Venice Film Festival 2023: The SAG-AFTRA waiver that allows Adam Driver to attend ‘Ferrari’ premiere today
Both Adam Driver and Jessica Chastain will attend the Venice International Film Festival thanks to an interim waiver by SAG-AFTRA
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It’s a red carpet affair this evening at the 80th Venice International Film Festival today, with Luc Besson’s latest film, ‘Dogman’ and Michael Mann’s biopic of Enzo Ferrari with ‘Ferrari’ set to premiere as the festival enters full swing. The film, starring Adam Driver, will premiere at 6:30pm CEST today (5:30pm), with the festival live-streaming the red carpet event - which will include Driver.
That brings up a curious question though; With the ongoing strike action taking place in Hollywood with SAG-AFTRA and WAG, is Adam Driver or Jessica Chastain, who has also confirmed her attendance at the film festival, a case of them stepping over the picket line? Absolutely not, and it’s down to a specific waiver granted by SAG-AFTRA for certain productions.
This interim waiver permits actors to promote independent projects that were not produced by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), and it clarifies that participating in such promotions does not mean crossing the picket line. However, actors are still prohibited from promoting any of their current or future projects connected to struck companies (studios) through press appearances, red carpets, and conventions.
Given that Michael Mann’s movie has been produced by independent production company Moto Pictures, it means that Driver has been given an exception to go and promote the movie. However, it would prevent him from promoting films that have ties to major movie studios - the very same studios SAG-AFTRA are calling upon to bring more to the table to end the strikes.
The guild's statement emphasizes that these actors' appearances at festivals to promote independent projects with the interim agreement are a source of pride, showcasing thriving independent projects and standing in contrast to the corporate executives “greed and disrespect that may be hampering their own productions”. The more projects that succeed under the interim agreement, the weaker the position of the AMPTP becomes.
Seeing well-known actors attending festivals for non-major studio work serves as a visible demonstration of their support for independent projects and the fair treatment of performers within the industry. The statement also highlights that the actors' presence serves as a reminder to corporate executives about the importance of equitable working conditions, fair wages, and other issues at the heart of the strike.