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30/10/2001

EQUITY ACTORS TO REFUSE NEW CONTRACTS

EQUITY members are refusing to accept new contracts for UK films from December 1 2001.
The actors' union Equity wants a deal comparable to that won by the US Screen Actor's Guild earlier this year.
Currently actors in the UK are paid a flat fee in advance, which buys out for all time television broadcasts of cinema films, video and DVD sales and other uses.
Equity's claim includes bids for a percentage of producer's or distributor's share of proceeds from worldwide video and DVD sales after an agreed number of units have been sold.
The union also wants a percentage of proceeds from sales to broadcasters after an agreed number of showings.
Equity says its claims has built-in thresholds to ensure that independent film producers can recoup a significant proportion of their investment through receipts from the box office, television broadcasts and video and DVD sales before additional payments to performers start.
Equity General Secretary Ian McGarry said: "If a film is a hit, actors should be able to share in that success. That belief is at the heart if Equity's dispute with the UK film industry and reason for the union asking members to turn down contracts.
"Unless we step up the pressure on the UK producers the opportunity to bring fair payments for film work will slip away from us".
(GB)
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