Cate Blanchett opted out of Locarno Film Festival in support of SAG-AFTRA strike

Cate Blanchett will not be attending the European premiere of Noora Niasari’s Shayda at Locarno Film Festival in support of SAG-AFTRA strike. Shayda has it’s Australian premiere at Melbourne Film Festival today.

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who is an executive producer on Noora Niasari’s debut film Shayda, will not be attending the pic’s August 12 closing-night screening at the Locarno Film Festival out of support for the SAG-AFTRA strike. Niasari and star Zar Amir Ebrahimi will attend the movie’s play at the Swiss fest.

“As executive producer I couldn’t be more proud of Shayda, the remarkable debut feature from Iranian-Australian Noora Niasari, starring the extraordinary Zar Amir Ebrahimi,” Blanchett said in a statement to Deadline. “I celebrate the work of the whole filmmaking team and am thrilled that the film can be seen at the closing night of the glorious Locarno Festival next week.”

She added: “As a dedicated member of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Actors’ Council, I have made the difficult but necessary decision not to attend at this crucial time. Dirty Films wholeheartedly supports Noora Niasari’s resonant, heartbreaking film, and with our fellow producers we are thrilled that the Piazza Grande audience will have the opportunity to connect with its humanity.”

Blanchett had been scheduled to moderate an August 12 afternoon conversation between Niasari and Ebrahimi on “Iranian Women and Iranian Cinema” ahead of the Shayda screening in Locarno’s 8k-seat Piazza Grande.

Shayda also will play the Melbourne Film Festival this week.

Blanchett’s Dirty Films label is making a big splash on the fall film festival circuit, with Warwick Thornton’s The New Boy making its North American premiere at TIFF in September following its Cannes world premiere in May. Also headed to TIFF is Fingernails from filmmaker Christos Nikou, starring Riz Ahmed, Jessie Buckley, Luke Wilson, Jeremy Allen White and Annie Murphy.

On Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told Deadline that independent movies headed to film festivals can have their stars promote “if they can quality for an interim agreement” with the guild.

Source: Deadline