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Film - Film

Film and Television Charity announce emergency relief fund

The BFI and The Film and TV Charity set up a new Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund with a £1m donation from Netflix.

The BFI and The Film and TV Charity have partnered to create a new industry-backed Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to help support the creative community, which like many industries, has been devastated by the pandemic.

Established with a £1m donation from Netflix, the new Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund will be administered by The Film and TV Charity with support from the BFI. It will provide emergency short-term relief to the many thousands of active workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity, said “The film and TV industry is now facing a huge threat. Many freelancers have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight. We’re entering a period of unprecedented isolation and worry for a workforce that we know from our research already suffers from poor mental health.

“Which is why I’m incredibly pleased that that Netflix and the BFI are working with us to kick-start this new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to support workers across the UK’s film and TV industry.”

The Film and TV Charity is currently working on the precise eligibility criteria and level of individual funding but the fund will be open to those working in production, distribution and exhibition.

Those in immediate and urgent need should apply for support via The Film and TV Charity’s existing hardship fund, offering grants of up to £500 to provide stop-gap support. This hardship fund will sit alongside the new Film and TV COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

The Film and TV Charity and BFI also recognise the significant mental health pressures arising as a result of COVID-19 and, in line with the charity’s existing Whole Picture Programme for better mental health, are developing new advice specifically tailored for our industry on how to stay mentally well at home and creating a new supportive community forum for freelancers. The Film and TV Charity already provides 24/7 mental health support to the industry, including counselling and legal advice, via the Film and TV Support Line on 0800 054 00 00.

The BFI is leading an industry-wide Screen Sector Task Force that is looking at the wide-ranging impacts of Covid-19 on the whole industry and its workforce, as well as working closely with Government to ensure that all of the ramifications and impacts are considered. The BFI has up to date industry advice for freelancers and other areas of the sector.

Netflix’s donation is part of a broader announcement last week to set up a $100m fund for creatives whose jobs have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Most of the funds will go towards support for the hardest-hit workers on Netflix’s own productions around the world and is in addition to the two week’s pay they already committed to the crew and cast on productions that have been suspended. Netflix’s donation to Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund and to other organisations around the world is to provide emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast across the broader film and television industry in the countries where the entertainment company has a large production base.

Source: The Film and Television Charity