How COVID-19 is transforming the film industry

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After more than 40 years as an actor, Sheri Mann Stewart had finally taken the plunge to launch her own production company. A week after she wrapped shooting her first film for Mann Woman Productions, Atlanta went on pandemic lockdown.

Mann Stewart was suddenly left with a film on hold, an audition on hold, and the careers of her husband and two sons — all performers — on hold. Instead of ushering her first film — prophetically inspired by John Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” — through editing and post-production, she spends several hours each day on the phone trying to iron out issues with unemployment benefits that she has yet to receive.

“Nothing like this has ever happened,” said Mann Stewart an Atlanta native who most recently appeared in Tyler Perry’s Netflix feature film “A Fall from Grace.” “I think, one way or another, our industry will be changed.”

Like many other industries, the film and TV business has been shut down since mid-March, with only a few exceptions such as late-night talk shows and virtual versions of “American Idol” and “The Voice.” With plenty of content currently in the pipeline, streaming services and television networks have managed so far, but if production doesn’t restart soon, viewers will face a major drought of new shows to watch this fall. See more at AJC.

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