The 80th annual Venice Film Festival has commenced in Italy.
The celebration kicked off on a comedic note on Wednesday, August 30, when a pigeon flew onto the scene and walked down the red carpet. Photographers flocked to the bird, snapping photos as the animal appeared ready for its closeup.
This year’s event may look a bit different from past ceremonies as it takes place amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) labor strike. Per terms of the strike, union members are forbidden from filming or promoting their past, present and future works. Celebrity attendance at the Venice International Film Festival could have been considered “scabbing” (a.k.a. breaking the rules) without the exemption of an interim waiver.
SAG-AFTRA confirmed earlier this month, however, that they will allow stars to attend the festival to promote independently made film and TV projects, so long as they were not produced by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have reached a standstill over contract negotiations with the AMPTP regarding streaming residuals, fair wages and artificial intelligence.