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Keira Knightley movie bosses accused of underpaying extras

Movie union chiefs in Britain have hit out at bosses of Keira Knightley's new film Anna Karenina, accusing them of underpaying extras.

The actress has teamed up with her Atonement director Joe Wright to play the lead in a big screen reimagining of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel.

Film chiefs at Working Title are reportedly paying extras in the movie $160 a day in a deal agreed under the terms of a Film Artistes Association (FAA) agreement between Bectu, the entertainment union, and Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT).

FAA Chairman Paul Kirby tells industry newspaper The Stage he is "very disappointed" with the wage and adds, "On this film the extras' fees - even at the correct rate - would not be more than one per cent of the entire budget."