Nicolas Cage, Eric Robert, Barbara Crampton, Nick Stahl and a few other American actors will not be able to participate in Fantasia due to their union’s strike, which began last Thursday. The festival “fully supports them,” artistic director Mitch Davis said in an interview with La Presse.
“The timing is bad for us, but we are with them. This is something that should have happened years ago when streaming platforms [streamers] started paying out paltry residual income,” Davis said.
For its 27th edition, the Montreal festival was to award the Honorary Career Award to Nicolas Cage, who has starred in Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock and Adaptation, among others. In addition to the tribute, the prolific comedian would have world premiered his most recent film, Sympathy for the Devil. The screening will still take place and director Yuval Adler will be on hand to answer questions from fans.
“Technically, Nicolas Cage could have received his award without promoting the film. But what’s complicated is that anyone writing about its price would necessarily have mentioned the movie and it might have looked like a scab. We would never ask one of our guests to put themselves in such a position. »
Mitch Davis adds that there was no question of presenting the award virtually and that the ceremony will take place in person when the situation allows.
Although the strike by the SAG-AFTRA and WGA unions prevented the arrival of a dozen actors, a few names were added to the list of Fantasia guests, including the director of Vincent must die, Stéphan Castang, then Derek Johns and Laurent Pitre, who star in The Sacrifice Game.
“We’ve had a lot of big-name actors over the years, but we’re more of a filmmaker festival,” says Mitch Davis. Additionally, European, Asian or Canadian films that do not have American actors are not affected. »
Fantasia will be held from July 20 to August 9.