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Jessica Chastain Movie ‘Memory’ Gets 7-Minute Ovation At Venice Premiere

After just being officially confirmed for a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement the day before, the cast of Memory hit the Venice Film Festival red carpet Friday night. Michel Franco’s movie, starring Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard, was greeted with a seven-minute ovation during its world premiere inside the Sala Grande.

In the drama, which is playing in the Competition lineup here, Chastain plays Sylvia, a social worker who leads a simple and structured life: her daughter, her job, her AA meetings. This is blown open when Saul (Sarsgaard) follows her home from their high school reunion. Their surprise encounter will profoundly impact both of them as they open the door to the past.

Brooke Timber, Merritt Wever, Elsie Fisher, Jessica Harper and Josh Charles also star in the pic, which is looking for a buyer here in Venice. The Match Factory is repping sales.

Earlier today, Chastain spoke about her trepidation in attending Venice given the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. “I was incredibly nervous to be here today,” she said, wearing a “SAG-AFTRA On Strike” T-shirt to the press conference. But her ultimate decision was to encourage independent producers to embrace the interim agreements allowed by the unions.

“I am here because SAG-AFTRA has been explicitly clear that the way to support the strike is to post on social media, walk the picket lines and to work and support interim agreement projects,” she said. “It’s what our national board, our negotiating committee and elected leadership has asked us to do. When indie producers sign these agreements they are letting the world know, they are letting the AMPTP know that actors deserve fair compensation, they have protections that should be implemented and there should be sharing of streaming revenue. So I hope being here today encourages other producers, encourages actors to show up… Hopefully we’ll see an end to the strike soon and hopefully the AMPTP will go back to the table.”

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