John Landis, Louis Garrel, Ernest Dickerson & Ariane Labed Among 300 Signatories Of Open Letter In Support Of Cannes Workers’ Strike

A growing list of at least 300 international industry professionals, including John Landis, Louis Garrel, Ernest Dickerson, and Ariane Labed have lent their names to a petition in support of a planned strike action by Cannes Film Festival workers during this year’s edition.

The petition was launched this week by the Precarious Film Festival Workers Collective (Le Collectif des précaires des festivals de cinéma), the unofficial workers union behind the strike action. The names of signatories had initially been kept private but the group made them public this afternoon on their official website.

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Other signatories on the petition include Thomas Hakim, the producer behind 2024 Cannes competition title All We Imagine As Light, Belgian filmmaker and two-time Palme d’Or winner Jean-Pierre Dardenne, and veteran French cinematographer Agnès Godard.

The extent of the petition comes as we revealed this morning that France’s main union for people employed in the entertainment and culture sectors – CGT-Spectacle – is poised to give its official support for planned strike action. The official support of the CGT-Spectacle union would be a coup for the festival workers, who have yet to reveal what form their strike action will take.

The festival workers’ demands are two-fold. Firstly, they are asking for better pay packages that acknowledge the long hours they work when events are in full throttle. Secondly, they want to be officially classed as temporary entertainment workers, known as intermittents du spectacle. This status would enable them to access France’s special benefits regime for people working in the entertainment sector, which is tailored to the fact they are often employed on temporary contracts and provide year-round income.

People working on France’s film festival circuit – which spans some 600 individual events – are currently employed under a variety of different statuses and until now have relied on general unemployment benefits to survive between contracts. They say an upcoming reform of unemployment benefit will likely leave them ineligible for support, which in turn will force them to quit the sector.

The Cannes Film Festival runs May 14-25.

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