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Quebec film industry tells U.S. to get reel

by Archives November 25, 2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the rising dollar and Quebec’s producers union are placing Montreal’s billion-dollar film industry in jeopardy.

While campaigning, governor-elect Schwarzenegger promised to keep “runaway productions” out of Canada to help the California state budget.

Schwarzenegger plans to offer tax incentives to film productions if they agree to film in California rather than north of the border. All this in an effort to erase California’s budget deficit and protect jobs in California.

Such a policy could have devastating affects on the Canadian film industry. But industry insiders aren’t worried yet.

Karen Benzakein of the acting agency Benzakein Talent explained that while losing film production in Quebec could have a devastating affect on our economy, our actors will not be affected. “It would make a difference in terms of the cities they shoot in, as far as hotels restaurants and the glamour that the movies bring. But as far as the actors are concerned they really only get small parts,” she said.

It is the film technicians who would be most affected by the loss of films.

Brian Baker, the general manager of the Syndicat des Techniciennes et Techniciens du Cin

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