Spring 2015

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50 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2015 | On Location BELVA DAVIS HONORED NEW MEXICO FILM AND MEDIA DAY OHIO-PITTSBURGH LOCAL TALENT SHOWCASE J an. 25 proved to be a great day for SAG-AFTRA members of the Ohio-Pittsburgh Local. The snowy day began with the local's third collaborative talent showcase with Pittsburgh's Women in Film and Media chapter. Nearly 40 performers gathered that morning to rehearse scenes with their partners and receive advice from the panel of local casting directors, agents, producers and directors. Panelists included casting directors Nancy Mosser and Donna Belajac, The Talent Group owner Stephen Black, Docherty Talent and Modeling Agency owner Deb Docherty, Animal Productions' Michael Killen, and producers Brian Hartman and Paula Gregg. All were impressed by the performances. Similar showcases were held last year and more are on the way. Later that evening, SAG-AFTRA members and industry professionals celebrated the craft of the actor while viewing the 21st Annual SAG Awards. Local members enjoyed viewing parties in Pittsburgh at Olive or Twist and Cleveland's Take 5 Lounge. Guests had a blast enjoying mock voting, prizes, food and socializing. Panelists from the Jan. 25 talent showcase T he San Francisco Labor Council and the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Foundation honored Emmy Award-winner and longtime SAG-AFTRA San Francisco-Northern California Board member Belva Davis with the inaugural 2015 Willie B. Kennedy Service Award. The award recognizes Davis for her civic service and her work in Bay Area media for more than 50 years. The first African-American woman television reporter on the West Coast, Davis is known for her groundbreaking stories on race and politics, including the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. She anchored at network affiliates ABC, NBC and PBS; hosted This Week in Northern California on KQED- TV for more than 19 years; and interviewed Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy and George H.W. Bush. Throughout her career she has advocated for women and minorities, serving as the AFTRA National Equal Employment Opportunities Chair for more than 12 years and as an AFTRA national vice president. She is the recipient of the prestigious AFTRA George Heller Memorial Award for her significant and long-term service to the union. Belva Davis receives the 2015 Willie B. Kennedy Service Award. San Francisco- NorCal Ohio-Pittsburgh TAX TIPS FOR MEMBERS M embers of the Michigan Local were treated to a free tax seminar Feb. 23 by Eric Wydra, the 3rd vice president of the SAG-AFTRA Michigan Local Board and a CPA at Plante Moran in Ferndale. He offered key tips helpful to members concerning record-keeping, income reporting, deductible expenses and equipment purchases. And pizza was enjoyed by all. Eric Wydra, foreground, advises members at the Feb. 23 tax seminar. New Mexico Michigan T he SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Local had a strong presence at Film and Media Day on Feb. 23. At this annual event, the film industry reaches out to state legislators and the governor, stressing the importance of our industry to the state. This year, the stakes were higher because of a push to pass "right-to-work" legislation. The national Government Affairs and Public Policy department gave New Mexico great support by sending Associate Director of Government Affairs Kerri Wood Einertson and actor and SAG-AFTRA member Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad, Masters of Sex) to join the fight. Brandt spoke passionately about the importance of the film industry to the state. She talked about the economic benefits the film industry provides to restaurants, merchants, caregivers and others. A state Senate committee tabled the bill in March, blocking its advance. Betsy Brandt, center, joins members and staff at the state Capitol to campaign against proposed "right-to- work" legislation.

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