Magazine article Screen International

Hollywood Calls on Congress for Urgent Cinema Support

Magazine article Screen International

Hollywood Calls on Congress for Urgent Cinema Support

Article excerpt

“Theaters may not survive the impact of the pandemic.”

Leading Hollywood industry groups and dozens of filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Steve McQueen, Alfonso Cuarón,and Barbara Broccolihave called on US lawmakers to support an exhibition sector brought to its knees by Covid-19.

Warning that “theaters may not survive the impact of the pandemic”, the National Association Of Theatre Owners, Motion Picture Association, Directors Guild Of America, and more than 70 directors, producers, and writers urged Congressional leaders for help.

They want US lawmakers to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act to help entertainment industry businesses that have suffered the most from closures and dwindling audiences, or to enact new proposals such as the RESTART Act.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi is in negotiations with US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin on a revised package that would bring a further $2.2tn in Covid-19 relief for the country.

There is no bipartisan support for the new package, which had been set for a vote on Wednesday night before Democrats delayed while talks continue. In contrast there was broad support for the CARES Act in late March that unlocked a $2.2tn stimulus package that helped industries get through the summer.

The film industry letter to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy read: “Absent a solution designed for their circumstances, theaters may not survive the impact of the pandemic. …

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