BFI and Film & TV Charity set up new fund
The BFI and The Film and TV Charity have joined forces to establish to create a new industry-backed fund to help freelancers and workers within the creative sector.
Netflix kicked off the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund with a £1m donation.
The fund will be administered by The Film and TV Charity with support from the BFI, providing short-term relief to thousands of people who had been working on productions now suspended across the UK.
The Film and TV Charity is currently working on the specific criteria and level of individual funding, but the fund will be open to those working in production, distribution and exhibition.
Applicants can register for the charity’s mailing list here, to be kept up-to-date with news once the fund is available.
Ben Roberts, BFI chief executive, said: ‘‘Freelance professionals are the backbone of our film and television industries, and we hope that everyone will work together to support those who have been hardest hit at this extraordinary time of need.
"Netflix’s early commitment to this fund is hugely welcomed and we are asking other commercial industry partners to contribute, if they are able, and play their part in helping those most in need get through this crisis.”
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 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.”
Anne Mensah, vice-president, original series at Netflix, said: “We’re proud to be working with the BFI and The Film and TV Charity to support the hardest hit workers in TV and film production.
"UK crews – from electricians to carpenters, hair and make-up artists to drivers – have always been vital to Netflix’s success and now we want to help those freelancers who most need support in these unprecedented times.”
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. Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at: https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/coronavirus-financial-advice/
The BFI has up-to-date industry advice for freelancers and other areas of the sector at a dedicated page relating to the Covid-19 outbreak.
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 weeks’ pay they already committed to the crew and cast on productions that have been suspended.