Twin Cities Local members and local indie filmmakers enjoyed an evening of networking on April 4 at an event jointly hosted by Independent Filmmaker Project/Minnesota (IFP/MN) and the Twin Cities Local. It brought together filmmakers, future filmmakers and SAG-AFTRA members. After checking in and enjoying tasty snacks in the spacious new IFP/MN digs, attendees packed the room to hear a presentation on low budget contracts by Chicago Local Director of TV/Theatrical Contracts Kathy Byrne, assisted by Local 3rd Vice President Elena Giannetti, who provided an actor’s perspective. Filmmakers received info packets and everyone participated in an energetic Q&A session before breaking for dessert and drinks to wrap up the evening. Elena stated afterward, “It was a welcome opportunity for actors and filmmakers to mingle in a relaxed setting and gave everyone a chance to learn more about the union film contracts available to use union talent.” 

Members at the mixers
Members and filmmakers at the April 4 mixer.

Twenty-one filmmakers and 37 local members attended the standing-room only event, and most seemed very pleased with both the venue and the opportunity to connect directly with actors and get questions answered. Local actor/filmmaker Patrick Coyle commented, “Putting SAG-AFTRA actors and indie filmmakers in the same room for a few hours to network and talk shop was incredibly valuable. Filmmakers needed to hear that SAG-AFTRA actors want to work on their projects and that there are affordable, user-friendly contracts! Actors needed to know about some of the challenges filmmakers face when trying to budget projects, contract union talent and schedule shoots with actors who are also busy on stage. Fun was had. Connections were made. Good food was consumed. Let’s do it more often.”

The local was pleased to partner with IFP/MN and looks forward to more collaboration in the future. Byrne commented, “Thanks so much to the local board for letting me come to the Twin Cities to present at the member-filmmaker mixer. It has worked so well in other locals over the years, I was thrilled to finally be able to do it in the Twin Cities! To watch actors interact with filmmakers and each other, just discussing different ways in which they can work together, is the best part of my job — and this event was just full of networking and deal-making! Great job, SAG-AFTRA Twin Cities Local members!”


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