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Amazon donates £1.5 million to Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 fund

"It is essential for us to help [the] community through this pandemic," said Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke

Amazon has pledged £1.5 million to the new Covid-19 Response Fund established by the UK’s Film and TV Charity.

The new Fund is separate to the Covid-19 Film And TV Emergency Relief Fund set up by the charity and the BFI earlier this year, and is aimed at helping those worst affected by the production shutdowns as shoots get back underway.

The donation is the first of the company’s £4.5 million commitment to help stricken production communities across Europe recover from the pandemic shutdown.

The Film and TV Charity is aiming to raise £3.2 million for the new fund, which will be for out-of-work freelancers to apply for grants of up to £4,500. According to Amazon, the new fund will “kick-start” a second wave of financing for the original fund which reached its limit after it opened in April.

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “The creative community in Europe has been vital to our success in producing high-quality Amazon Original TV series and movies for our global audience, and it is essential for us to help that community through this pandemic.

“We’ve made our first donations of £1.5 million today to provide support to the talented freelancers from the UK’s creative community who have been directly affected by the closure of theatres and halt in TV and film production. As we gear up production on a number of Amazon Original series across the UK and Europe in the coming months, we’re committed to continuing to support Europe’s talented creative community through this crisis.”

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film And TV Charity, added: “We’re incredibly grateful to Amazon for demonstrating such huge support for people working in television and film at this most difficult time for the industry. This fantastic donation to the Film and TV Charity will kick-start a new fund to support the diverse talent in our industry through the recovery process.”

Amazon said it will announce further donations in the coming weeks.