Screenshot 2023-08-31 at 13.52.36

Source: La Biennale di Venezia

Adam Driver

US star Adam Driver said he is “very happy” to be in Venice supporting Ferrari, and questioned why independent distributors can meet the SAG-AFTRA demands but major studios such as Netflix and Amazon can’t.

Responding to a question from Screen about his views on the strikes, Driver said, “I’m very happy to be here to support this movie; but also I’m very proud to be here – to be a visual representation of a movie that’s not a part of the AMPTP, and to promote the SAG leadership directive – which is an effective tactic – which is the interim agreement.

Driver said the effect of the interim agreement is “twofold”.

“It allows independent movies that have no association [to the AMPTP] to stop the bleeding a little bit as far as people in IATSE and SAG – to be able to go to work. But the other objective is to say: why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for – this is pre-negotiation, the dream version of SAG’s wishlist – but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?

“And every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has agreed to these terms, it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people they collaborate with, and the others are not.

“So when this opportunity came up, it seemed like a no-brainer for all of these reasons why you want to support your union. I’m here because of that – to stand in solidarity with them by showing up and just further proving the point that it really is about the people that you make it with.”

Mann then interjected to give a full-voiced backing of the strikes. “Individually and collectively we all stand in total solidarity with SAG and with the Writers Guild strike as well,” said the filmmaker, who then quoted from a SAG statement regarding projects such as Ferrari which have been granted an interim agreement. “Once an agreement is in place we fully encourage our SAG-AFTRA members to work under that agreement and promote work made under that agreement, because it benefits SAG in their negotiations,” said Mann.

He added, “This picture got made because of the people who worked on Ferrari forgoing large percentages of salaries – in the case of Adam and myself; producers such as PJ [van Sangwijk] and John Lesher who basically worked for no fees – that’s why this picture got made. It’s not made by a big studio, no big studio wrote us a cheque. That’s why we’re here standing in solidarity with both unions.”

Driver is one of the major stars to make it to this year’s Venice Film Festival, following the waiver granted to Ferrari by SAG-AFTRA.

Ferrari depicts a turbulent period in the life of car magnate Enzo Ferrari, when his desire to sustain his company’s future clashes with his relationships with his estranged wife, and his partner.

It is written by Troy Kennedy Martin, adapted from Brock Yates’ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man And The Machine.

The film is scheduled for release on December 25 in the US through Neon, before hitting UK-Ireland cinemas the following day through Sky. STX retains all other international rights.