The Canadian film industry is proving to be resilient amidst ongoing strikes by U.S. actors and writers. While Canadian productions are still underway, they are facing similar challenges as their American counterparts. One notable feature film that is currently in production in British Columbia is The Bearded Girl, which tells the story of a young woman who rebels against her mother’s life as a bearded lady in a circus.
The strikes in the U.S. revolve around issues such as residuals in the streaming ecosystem and the use of artificial intelligence. Consequently, foreign film and TV shoots in Canada have come to a halt. Union leaders in Canada predict that many of the concerns driving the U.S. strikes will eventually need to be addressed in the Canadian system as well.
In Canada, writers are represented by the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), while English-language actors are represented by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA). Both unions have agreements with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) to establish rules for Canadian-produced films. The WGC’s agreement is valid until the end of this year, while ACTRA’s agreement extends until the end of 2024.
Despite the challenges posed by the strikes, Canadian productions are grateful for the opportunity to continue shooting and employing crews. The Bearded Girl’s producer, Amber Ripley, expresses gratitude for being able to carry on with the film amid these uncertain times.
It is important to note that the impact of the strikes goes beyond just actors and writers; the entire industry is affected, including crew members and other professionals involved in film and TV production. The uncertainty caused by the strikes presents challenges for everyone involved. However, Canadian productions are determined to persevere and continue their work despite the obstacles they face.
The Bearded Girl explores themes of individuality, self-discovery, and breaking free from societal expectations. The production team remains committed to bringing this unique story to life, even in the midst of the strikes.
While Canadian productions may currently be unaffected by the strikes, it is crucial for industry leaders and union representatives to address the underlying issues and work towards a fair and sustainable future for the entertainment industry. Collaboration and open dialogue among all stakeholders will be key in finding solutions that benefit everyone involved.
As the strikes in the U.S. persist, the Canadian entertainment industry remains vigilant and prepared to navigate any potential challenges that may arise. By staying informed and proactive, Canadian productions can continue to thrive and contribute to the vibrant and diverse landscape of the global entertainment industry.