Those long line-ups you're used to seeing at film festivals may not actually be filmgoers -- at 2012's Toronto Film Festival, they may just be protesters.

Parked outside of TIFF Bell Lightbox, the film festival headquarters, the protesters represent IATSE Local 58, the union which provides professional staging services to Toronto entertainment, convention and trade show industries, and in this case, a group of specialists within the union called "film revisors."

The problem involves TIFF outsourcing; it seems the festival contracted Deluxe Entertainment Services Group to inspect and prepare this year's films, rather than using the services of the celluloid revisors.

The revisors have usually been responsible for looking after TIFF's movies, and their tasks involve fixing damaged prints, implementing trailers and ad spots before the movie and perfecting sound sync. But over the past several years, the film industry has migrated away from celluloid towards digital production, which is something that Deluxe specializes in.

"This is not something that can be done in-house," TIFF vice-president of communications and content management Jennifer Bell told The Globe and Mail in an e-mail.

"They somehow seem to think that the fact that it can't be performed in-house somehow takes away our jurisdiction. It does not," IATSE president Jim Brett said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The workers are also picketing the Deluxe Toronto office, and IATSE has hinted that picket lines may expand to other locations in time for the film festival's opening day on September 6.

The 2012 Toronto Film Festival runs from September 6 - 16.

categories Movies