A group of IATSE specialized projectionists known as film revisors have begun informational picketing outside the Toronto International Film Festival‘s Bell Lightbox headquarters over the outsourcing of digital cinema file revisions for the September 6-16 event. Pickets are also set up at Deluxe Entertainment Services Group in Toronto, which has been contracted to handle revisions of digital movie files for the festival. If the labor action continues — it’s not a strike — festival attendees may have to cross picket lines to attend screenings or red-carpet galas. With most festivals shifting from film to digital prints, work formerly performed on film — inspecting, repairing and splicing segments into complete, seamless programs — now involves editing computer files. “This is not work that can be performed in-house,” festival VP of communications and content management Jennifer Bell told the Toronto Globe & Mail via e-mail. IATSE Local 58, which represents the seven film revisors affected by the outsourcing, responded that TIFF is contractually obligated to use its workers. “They somehow seem to think that the fact that it can’t be performed in-house somehow takes away our jurisdiction. It does not,” said union president Jim Brett. The revisors continue to work even as they conduct the pickets. The festival’s revisors and projectionists have been working without a contract since the old one expired in January 2011. Festive official Bell said the festival and the union have agreed to handle disagreements like this through arbitration, although a hearing is not expected until November.
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