Toronto 2012: IATSE Launches Protest Outside Festival Headquarters Over Out-Sourcing

Toronto International Film Festival logo - H 2012

A dispute that follows contracting out of digital file revisions has led to a peaceful information picket by the projectionists union in front of Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival faces an information picket by IATSE Local 58 outside Bell Lightbox, the fest's year-round headquarters, on the eve of its 37th edition.

The festival is looking to resolve the dispute over out-sourcing of digital revision work to Deluxe Toronto through arbitration to avoid any major disruption when Hollywood and the rest of the international film world descends on Toronto from September 6.

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“The collective agreement provides for a process for handling disagreements like this through an arbitration hearing, which we are in the process of scheduling,” TIFF spokeswoman Jennifer Bell said Friday in a statement.

“This is the process that IATSE and TIFF have agreed to, and this is the way that the issue will be resolved,” she added.

The IATSE local is at odds with TIFF after it contracted work to check and prepare digital film files ahead of the festival screenings running from September 6 to 16.

In the past, the revising of celluloid film ahead of the annual September film festival was done in-house.

But with TIFF like most festivals increasingly employing digital projection technology, Toronto organizers insist revising digital files cannot be done in-house.

IATSE Local 58, meanwhile, is looking to protect its turf with the information picket outside Bell Lightbox.

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“They somehow seem to think that the fact that it can’t be performed in-house somehow takes away our jurisdiction. It does not,” IATSE president Jim Brett told the Globe and Mail newspaper.

IATSE Local 58, which represents TIFF projectionists and revisors, filed a grievance on the contracting out of work to Deluxe Toronto.

The festival maintains the action has so far been “peaceful” in the run-up to TIFF, and within the right of IATSE Local 58.