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Cine Gear Expo — the annual exhibition which this year is slated to return to the Paramount Studios backlot on Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3 — is ready to welcome Hollywood’s production community with 260 exhibitors as well as panels and screenings, but there’s also been uncertainty about how the writers strike might affect participants.
Expo organizers haven’t posted directives on its website nor did it respond to requests for comment from The Hollywood Reporter, but in a email to exhibitors obtained by THR, Cine Gear writes, “It is important to note that Cine Gear supports the Writers Guild of America’s fight for better work conditions and equally important to know that Cine Gear Expo is not a ‘struck’ event and the picketing you may encounter stems from a labor dispute between WGA and AMPTP of which Paramount is a member.”
It continues, “Cine Gear Staff and other assistance will be available at all respective gates to assure smooth traffic flow of vehicles and pedestrians and are committed to ensuring a successful and enriching experience for all.”
There is no mention in the memo of whether Cine Gear was in touch with the WGA or had requested a waiver.
Cine Gear attendees, which pre-pandemic numbered in the thousands, have included members of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) and Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians (IATSE Local 728), which are among the organizations slated to present Saturday panels during this year’s Expo. At press time these sessions, as well as those presented by the American Society of Cinematographers and Society of Camera Operators, remain on the event schedule published on Cine Gear’s website.
IATSE signaled its support for the writers, with international president Matthew Loeb noting in one statement, “IATSE supports the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East in their collective fight to win a fair contract from Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on behalf of the talented workers they represent.”
Cine Gear returns to the studio lot this year, where the event had traditionally been held before the pandemic. The annual exhibition was cancelled in 2020 and was staged as a smaller event at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2021 and 2022.
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