China Film Association deepens ties with Hollywood's Screen Actors Guild

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- A delegation from the China Film Association (CFA) has concluded its visit to Los Angeles, which business insiders said was very "productive."


A view of the stage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: VCG)

"We welcome our Chinese counterparts to Hollywood and SAG-AFTRA for a very productive visit," said Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) President Gabrielle Carteris on Thursday.

As one of the most powerful organizations in Hollywood, SAG-AFTRA represents nearly 160,000 performers on camera and behind the microphone.

The visit was arranged at a summit in Beijing this April between the leadership of SAG-AFTRA and the CFA, as the latter plays a role in China's film industry much like a combination of SAG-AFTRA, American Cinema Editors, American Society of Cinematographers and the Academy of Motion Pictures, as well as director, writer and producer guilds of America, Carteris told Xinhua.

The two organizations discussed continuing to explore ways to deepen their ties, trade valuable organizational know-how, explore co-training opportunities, and work to improve conditions for performers on both sides of the Pacific.

"We are very excited to build a relationship together. Our business is growing and changing rapidly and relationships are very important," said Carteris at the guild's Los Angeles headquarters.

The SAG-AFTRA hailed China's excellent job in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) after Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances was adopted on June 26, 2012, at the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances held by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

SAG-AFTRA's chief operating officer Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said "the Beijing treaty is an example in the types of compromises that can help ensure there is fair compensation in the industry. You should be proud of China's role in helping make that treaty a reality."

On a fact-finding mission for ways to improve the productivity and stability of their burgeoning film industry, the CFA's delegation expressed interest in learning how the guild's organization actually works.

"Your guild is very large, organized and systematic, and your programs are quite useful," said Bi Wenyu, deputy secretary general of the CFA. "Our industry is growing very rapidly, and we wish to learn more about your system to help improve ours."

Pamela Greenwalt, chief communications and marketing officer from SAG-AFTRA, stressed the value of the guild's work to provide ongoing educational training for their members that helps keep them current and employable.

"We also operate a conservatory with the American Film Institute that has classes in auditioning, cold reading, skills training, and we do on-air training and mentoring for broadcasters, and other kinds of classes that help meet our members career needs," she explained.

The CFA visit was co-organized by the non-profit International Creative Collaborative (ICC) and Pierrepont Academic Services as part of an ongoing effort to foster understanding, cooperation and collaboration between the CFA and SAG-AFTRA and other Hollywood guilds after the Beijing summit in April proved to be such a great success.

"We have much to learn from each other and can help each other," said ICC Executive Director Donna Chen.

Since 2017, the CFA and the ICC have been co-sponsoring cross-cultural summits in Los Angeles to share perspectives and meet with their Hollywood counterparts, like SAG-AFTRA.