Article: Film and TV Charity announces new COVID-19 fund to protect film, TV and cinema workers

The Film and TV Charity is announcing a new Covid-19 Recovery Fund that will distribute up to £2m to UK film, TV and cinema workers who have been hit hardest by Covid-19, helping to sustain them and their careers through and out of the pandemic.

The new Recovery Fund, founded with a £1m donation from Amazon Prime Video, has grown thanks to donations from BAFTA, BBC Studios, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ViacomCBS, as well as the generosity of private donors and the fundraising efforts of many people in the industry.

The new fund will seek to protect the industry’s diverse talent pipeline by focusing on supporting those at greatest personal and professional risk as a result of the pandemic.

Recent research commissioned by the charity has warned of the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on some groups, especially those who may already face barriers to staying in the industry, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers, women, those living outside of London, and people with a disability.

The fund is designed to support people hit hardest financially by the crisis and who are most likely to suffer the negative impact of the crisis on their careers. The scheme will deliver a targeted financial and wellbeing support that will enable people to support themselves for up to 6 months, countering the risk that the pandemic will entrench inequality within the industry.

The new grant scheme is part of the Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 Response, which has seen the charity rapidly mobilise to find new ways to support the industry community impacted by the shutdown of production and closure of cinemas across the UK.

To date the charity has raised more than £5.8m of ringfenced funding, launched a range of mental wellbeing services and provided critical ancillary services including financial guidance.

The charity needs to raise a further £900,000 to meet the costs of the Covid-19 Response and is inviting further donations to maximise the number of people the new fund will support.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film and TV Charity said: “We know that diverse talent – including women, those who are Black Asian or minority ethnic, and those who are disabled – are now being disproportionately impacted by the crisis due to a range of factors. So we have a real concern that without urgent support we will lose these people from our industry.

We’re incredibly grateful for the generous support of Amazon Prime Video, many BAFTA Members, BBC Studios, Sky Studios, Sony and ViacomCBS, as well as the generous individuals and enthusiastic efforts of people in the industry who have made this possible. We have a real opportunity to take action to support workers in greatest need now in order to protect the diversity of our industry for the future and I hope that others will seize this moment to donate to our Covid-19 Response.”

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive at BAFTA, said: “Now, more than ever, we must come together as an industry to support the talented individuals who are struggling and do all we can to safeguard a diverse creative workforce. I would like to say a huge thank you to the BAFTA Members and supporters who have generously donated to the Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 Recovery Fund and who continue to support BAFTA’s own charitable mission. I would also like to applaud the Film and TV Charity for their ongoing work to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Fund details

The Covid-19 Recovery Fund will provide a package of financial and wellbeing support of up to £4,500 (£750 a month for 6 months), helping people to sustain themselves through and out of the crisis and maintain careers within the industry.

Eligible individuals must be UK resident or have the right to live and work in the UK; work in film, TV or cinema; have been in paid industry work for at least 40 days in the last 18 months; be in financial difficulty due to Covid-19; and have earnt less than £30,420 in the previous financial year (2019/20). The charity will adopt an assessment approach that will prioritise individuals based on need and financial resilience and will give special consideration to those with additional vulnerabilities that put them at greater personal and professional risk as a result of the pandemic.

Limited funding is available. If you’re ineligible for the fund, the charity may be able to support you in another way. Contact us by calling the Film and TV Support Line on 0800 054 00 00.

The fund will be open for applications on Wednesday 23 September. To be the first to hear when the fund opens follow the charity on social media @filmtvcharity

All of the Film and TV Charity’s services are funded by voluntary donations and the charity is actively fundraising to continue to provide these. Those interested in fundraising should contact the charity’s Head of Fundraising Tom Woodward


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