Beleaguered film workers take unusual step to spread the word about plight

The unions and guilds representing B.C.’s film and TV industry workers are stepping up efforts to raise awareness of their industry’s impact on the local ...

The unions and guilds representing B.C.’s film and TV industry workers are stepping up efforts to raise awareness of their industry’s impact on the local economy – and the latest initiative is taking a unique twist.

The groups met this week in New Westminster to announce their “Paid for by Movie Money” card scheme. Approximately 15,000 members will get special “Paid for by Movie Money” cards to hand out to merchants whenever they make purchases, to advise those businesses that the money being spent was earned in the film industry.

Supportive businesses can also get stickers for their windows announcing “BC film and TV dollars spent here.”

The tactic is part of the groups’ overall action plan put in place by the groups to inform the government and the public of what is at stake as productions are being lost to Ontario and Quebec due to their higher industry tax incentives.

Industry representatives said they were disappointed that no corrections were made to the province’s film tax incentives in this week’s B.C. budget.

“We understand that the government has competing demands, but forgoing a percentage of its revenue from the industry in exchange for keeping the industry competitive with other jurisdictions is still an overall net benefit to the province,” said Alvin Sanders, president of UBCP/ACTRA.

Other plans include:

  • phoning and writing to MLAs and nominated candidates;
  • bumper stickers;
  • an online petition; and
  • raising issues at all-candidates meetings.

In January, thousands of actors, directors, producers and technicians rallied together under the #SaveBCFilm banner to discuss ways to bolster the industry.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaCrawfordBIV

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