The BFI and The Film and TV Charity have aligned to create a new fund, established with a £1 million donation from Netflix, to help support the U.K. creative community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new fund will help support the creative community, which has been devastated by the pandemic. Funds will be administered by The Film and TV Charity with support from the BFI and 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 U.K.
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 U.K.’s film and TV industry.”
Ben Roberts, BFI’s 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.”
Anne Mensah, VP of 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. From electricians to carpenters, hair and makeup artists to drivers—and many more, U.K. crews have always been vital to Netflix’s success and now we want to help those freelancers who most need support in these unprecedented times.”