Cinema, agreement on the first national contract for actors: table minimums and discussion on AI

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Who knows what comrade Gian Maria Volonté, the quintessential “union” face of Italian cinema, would have said, thanks to films like The working class goes to heaven (1971). 118 years after the first film produced in Italy, our actors also have a collective labor agreement, the one just signed by the employers’ associations Anica, Apa and Ape on the one hand and the unions Slc Cgil, Fistel Cisl and Uilcom Uil on the other. A three-year text that introduces table minimums per day of installation ranging from 650 euros to 1,100 euros, but at the same time establishes a table on the use of artificial intelligence and introduces the figure of the “intimacy coordinator” so as to prevent any cases of gender harassment at Weinstein. All this just over a month after the agreement was reached on the other side of the ocean in Hollywood to return to work at full capacity.

Let’s start with the salary chapter. The Ccnl divides the audience of over 100 thousand sector employees into three groups: protagonists, supporting actors and other roles. In the first case the table minimums are set at 1,100 euros gross per day of installation, in the second at 850 euros and in the third at 650 euros. Salaries that drop for works with a “long series” (starting from the eighth 50-minute episode a protagonist receives at least 900 euros gross per day of production) and for those with a “very long series” (soap operas with over 40 episodes lasting 25 minutes, where a protagonist takes 550 euros gross per pose). Similar minimum remuneration for films by debuting and low budget directors.

On welfare, “the parties agree that the determination of the methods of access to health insurance plans and supplementary social security treatment will be postponed to a general supply chain negotiation”. On the topic of new technologies, the parties “agree that, as soon as possible, they will have to reach a specific agreement that regulates the transfer of rights” while also taking into consideration “the parties’ freedom of negotiation”. In the meantime “the transfer of rights relating to the use and related recording and reproduction of the image and voice of each” actor will be considered “lawful and valid only if they refer to the audiovisual product for which they were created and its consequent exploitation” . Regarding artificial intelligence and more generally technological innovations, «the parties undertake to organize a permanent table made up of representatives from all sectors of the supply chain, in order to regulate and regulate the effects of new technological and regulatory developments in the way of the work of the cinema-audiovisual supply chain”. The parties therefore undertake “to respect gender equality and for LGBTQ+ people and to abolish differences in treatment”. The aim is also to combat, prevent and sanction any form of harassment at work, also through the use of the intimacy coordinator.

According to Sabina Di Marco, national secretary of Slc Cgil, this is a “historic result: finally actresses and actors of cinema and TV will have protection and rights. It has been expected since the time of Gian Maria Volonté, now it is reality. Minimum wages, trade union rights, protections from the improper use of artificial intelligence, valorisation of the acting profession. The text signed today is part of a negotiation process that aims at the supply chain contract, to give the sector greater strength in international competition and guarantee pluralism in access to professions. The union is capable of meeting the challenges of a sector that suffers from a halt in bargaining that has become unbearable.”

Satisfaction from sector associations. «It is an agreement of great value, which gives stability and strength to the entire cinema-audiovisual chain. We are particularly proud that this “first time” in Italy was carried out without bitter conflicts as happened in the USA and with a mutual constructive spirit. We work together and gather, decades later, the spirit of the ‘battles’ promoted by Gian Maria Volonté. Protecting the role of businesses and workers with a strategic vision: it is possible” declares the President of Anica, Francesco Rutelli.

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