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Wexler wins seat on cinematographers guild board in re-run election

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Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler handily won a seat on the board of the International Cinematographers Guild in a new election ordered by federal labor officials. Wexler won 544 votes, the highest tally among 22 candidates vying for a dozen seats on the guild's board, according to a summary of the results posted on the guild's website Friday night.

The 89-year-old director of photography known for his work on the 1966 film “Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" was initially disqualified from running for a seat last year because the guild said he had not spent enough time “working in the trade." The rule, adopted in 2009, stipulates that a member must work 120 days under union contracts within the previous three years in order to run for local office.

Wexler and other candidates maintained they were improperly disqualified because they have been critics of the current union's president, Steven Poster, and had complained to the U.S. Department of Labor. The department determinedthat Wexler and another candidate had been improperly disallowed and ordered the guild to hold a new election for cinematographers in the western region.

Wexler said he felt vindicated by the election results. “It's an incredible showing when, not so long ago, they were saying I was not qualified to run for office," he said. “It does mean that people think otherwise. This is an unfair rule that was specifically used to marginalize certain people."

The guild did not issue a statement. “I welcome him [Wexler] to the board, but we've got a lot on our plate,” Poster said. “Let's get down to work."


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