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June 5, 2017

June 2nd News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

The Cannes Film Festival is over for another year, but the controversy that plagued it is likely to be around for some time. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, the issue of digital progress - how much of it can, will and should be allowed into this bastion of cinematic purity - played out like an existential fight for the future of entertainment all along the French Riviera.

Following successful negotiations with directors and writers, it is now the actors’ turn to sit down at the table with the major Hollywood studios and networks to work out a new contract. As reported in the LA Times below, SAG-AFTRA began negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Wednesday.

The California State Assembly voted this week to increase funding by $1 million to train high schoolers and community college students for below-the-line jobs in the film and television industry. As detailed in Deadline below, the additional funding would expand current apprenticeship programs where students learn specialized craft and trade skills from industry professionals. These programs dovetail with the aim of California's current tax incentives program which requires credit recipients to participate in a career-based learning program.

It's no secret that studio space - or the lack thereof - is an ongoing issue in busy film and television locals across North America. An article in Crain's New York this week laid bare tensions between the City of New York and its four main studio operators. As reported below, amid a discussion over NYC's plans to build a 100,000 square foot facility, the head of its Economic Development Corp called the city's large soundstage companies an "oligopoly" that wanted to keep the supply of stages low so they could charge more.

Box office receipts for 2017's Memorial Day weekend were the lowest since 1999, highlighting the ongoing challenge for theaters to attract younger people who have a plethora of entertainment options. As detailed in the Times below, Los Angeles, especially, has become a laboratory of multiplex innovation as the industry tries everything it can — motion seats, virtual reality and even competitive video gaming — to see what takes hold.

Finally this week, two new reports from the CMPA have shed some light on export markets for Canadian film and television programs. As detailed in Playback below, the most successful exports tend to have very high budgets, are international co productions and sell largely to European and U.S. markets.

Warmest regards,


Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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