Nicolas Cage to Skip Fantasia Film Festival Amidst Hollywood Actors’ Strike

Hollywood star Nicolas Cage will not attend Fantasia Film Festival, billed as one of North America’s biggest genre festivals, following the strike called by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Cage was due to attend the festival in Montreal, Canada, on July 22 for the world premiere of director Yuval Adler’s Sympathy for the Devil, where he was scheduled to receive Fantasia’s Cheval Noir career achievement award. Fantasia, which runs from July 20 to August 9, shared the update on its official website.

Last week, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted to team up with the screenwriters under the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in the first joint strike after failing to reach a consensus for a new contract with the studios and streaming services, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). “We’re sad to announce that due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Nicolas Cage will no longer be able to attend the festival next weekend. We’ll be updating our website regularly as we receive news from other announced guests while circumstances evolve. Our hearts are with the actors, as well as with the WGA, and we hope to see the unions get a fair deal soon,” the festival organisers said in the statement.

Following the confirmation of the SAG strike on July 13, Judy Greer, star of Aporia, one of Fantasia’s other high-profile premieres, did not appear to be available for interview by American entertainment outlet Variety. Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon and Florence Pugh – the cast of Christopher Nolan’s much anticipated film Oppenheimer – left the film’s London screening midway in solidarity with the strike called by the Hollywood’s actors union.

Recently, actors Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas voiced their support with their protesting colleagues. The strike by Hollywood actors is the first strike since 1980. It is also the first instance when two major Hollywood unions have been on strike at the same time since 1960. Members of the WGA have been protesting since early May, demanding better wages, higher minimum pay, more writers per show, and shorter exclusive contracts among other things.

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