EXCLUSIVE: Chaim Kantor has been named interim National Executive Director of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600. He succeeds Rebecca Rhine, who stepped down in September and is now the Western Executive Director of the DGA.
Baird B. Steptoe, National President of the Cinematographers Guild, made the announcement Thursday, saying Kantor’s appointment was unanimously confirmed by the guild’s National Executive Board. He added that in his new post Kantor now has “the authority to exercise direct supervision over the staff and operation of the guild on a national basis.”
Kantor, who has served as the guild’s Eastern Region Director since January 2003, was also the guild’s Associate National Executive Director, and Local 600 IATSE co-chair East Coast Council of the IATSE New York Production Locals.
While a working member, he held the elected positions of Secretary and Treasurer of Camera Local 644 before the merger in 1996 that brought IATSE’s three cameral locals – Local 659 in Los Angeles, Local 644 in New York and Local 666 in Chicago – together as Local 600 with national jurisdiction.
He also served as a union trustee of the Local 644 Pension, Welfare and Annuity Funds, and following the formation of Local 600, was elected to the office of National Assistant Secretary Treasurer and was subsequently elected its National Vice President.
He’s been a member of the union since 1980, working as a camera assistant, camera operator, and a director of photography on feature films, TV series and commercials prior to accepting a staff position at the guild. His many film credits include Independence Day, Witness and Arlington Road.