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Quebec film industry suffering from U.S. actors, writers strike

“It’s a big miss because U.S. productions create new jobs,” says AQTIS 514 IATSE president Christian Lemay on the Hollywood actors and writers strikes that are affecting nearly 2,000 film technicians in Quebec. Diona Macalinga reports.

Quebec’s TV and film industry is experiencing major setbacks this year from the ongoing actors and writers strikes in the U.S.

The labour union AQTIS 514 IATSE claimed an absence in revenue and a lack of job opportunities affecting almost 2,000 technicians, especially those completely dependent on U.S. productions.

“The studios and the streamers need to review their position and ask themselves: ‘Maybe it’s time to look for less benefits and make sure the industry is starting again,” explained Christian Lemay, president of the AQTIS 514 IATSE.

Some of them have total zero revenues in 2023 because of the situation in the states.


“It’s a big miss because U.S. productions create new jobs for our members. It’s job creation, and additional opportunities for those freelancers. Because the job they’re doing is a very precarious job. They are going contract to contract to contract,” said Lemay.

Lemay remains optimistic about Quebec’s thriving audiovisual industry. Directors of photography, script supervisors, gaffers, grips, electricians, and even film set construction workers are in a better position with the star system favouring local talent for opportunities in Quebec.

“Our members have access to another source of work. Commercials are very present in the province of Quebec and also all Quebec productions: TV, features, documentaries.”

The strike over streaming residuals and artificial intelligence taking over acting and writing gigs are causing more disruption to Quebec’s film business than the pandemic.


“There’s some residuals involved. It’s the contribution of the studios and the streamers to the pension plan and also to the health and welfare of writers and actors. In addition to that, one of the things that everyone is aware of is artificial intelligence. Those unions, including us, are afraid that the artificial intelligence will replace writers, actors, or technicians,” explained Lemay.

“2021 was a record year in the province of Quebec. The salary masses of those members working in U.S. production only was $94 million for 2021. It’s a lot of money and wages paid to our members that is absent in 2023.”

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