Damien Chazelle shows support for WGA strike at Venice Film Festival

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The 2023 Venice Film Festival kicked off Wednesday amid the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes in the entertainment industry.

Though thousands of miles away from Hollywood, the months-long strikes are top of mind at the decidedly less star-studded Venice event as guild members are prevented from participating in accordance with guidelines.

“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, who is serving as chair of the main jury, arrived to opening night wearing a t-shirt in support of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). During a press conference, Chazelle said he wanted to acknowledge the “struggle” going on and mark the 121 days entertainment writers have been on strike and the 48 days actors have been on strike.

“There’s a basic idea that each work of art has value unto itself, that it’s not just a piece of content — to use Hollywood’s favorite word right now — to be put into a pipeline,” Chazelle said. “That idea is very basic, I think, to art and how art is made and how art can be made sustainable to the people who make it has been eroded quite a bit, in the past 10 years.”

Interim agreements with SAG/AFTRA for independent projects will enable some actors to participate in the festival, including Jessica Chastain and Adam Driver, according to Indiewire.

The Venice Film Festival runs through Sept. 9. A lineup of the films in competition can be found here.

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