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BFI, Film and TV Charity, Netflix establish Covid-19 relief fund

Aims to support those affected by closure of UK productions

The BFI and the UK’s Film and TV Charity have created a Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to help support the creative community, established with a £1 million donation from Netflix.

The fund aims to provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.

The Film and TV Charity also provides 24/7 mental health support, including counselling and legal advice, via the Film and TV Support Line on 0800 054 0000.

Netflix set up an additional $100 million fund for creatives whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic, mostly geared towards workers on Netflix productions.

The Film and TV Charity CEO Alex Pumfrey 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, VP Original Series at Netflix, added: “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 makeup 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.”

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs commented: “This is welcome news and it is brilliant that the industry is coming together to create a much needed hardship fund during these troubled times. However, this is not enough.

“The government must step in and provide assistance to the many freelancers who are desperately worried about whether they will be able to pay the bills, feed their children and have the same stability that has been given to other sections of the economy. We are urging all freelancers in the creative industries to write to their MP and explain why further measures are needed from government.”