Pandemic in Progress: get a jab

Hollywood’s Covid safety protocols have been extended to April 30, 2022, and are updated to include booster shots to define “fully vaccinated,” adding mask requirements, antigen tests authorized for use in testing for Covid-19, and funding for sick leave for cast and crew for up to 10 days. These are in addition to testing regimens, physical distancing, compliance officers, diligent use of personal protective equipment and a “Zone” system to ensure that different sections of productions are tightly controlled based on proximity to cast. The updated protocols were reached by an agreement between the AMPTP and Hollywood’s unions, including SAG-AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE, the Teamsters and the Basic Crafts. 

In awards news, the SAG Awards and Critics Choice Awards both required audience be fully vaccinated. The Oscars went for a hybrid test / vaccination model, and masking in tight fitting areas of the audience. It seems that as we approach each new event and venue and audience, that standards are being remade each time for each occasion. But it seems that we are approaching a more self-aware, “normal.”

A report in February published by Indiewire shared a breakdown of how pandemic money has been spent for arts organizations via National Endowment for the Arts, who is entrusted with dispensing federal pandemic funds in grants to numerous applications for relief funding, including roughly 7% to film organizations. Out of a total of roughly 57mm dollars, about 4mm went to film-oriented groups. A list of the groups receiving funding may be found here and include the Sundance Institute and New Orleans film festival among others.

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