Film and TV Charity Covid-19 fund applications open

Industry News  |  08 April 2020

The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, in partnership with BFI, is now live, providing one-off grants from £500 to £2,500 to people behind the scenes in UK film, TV and cinema who have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund launches today to provide much-needed support to the many thousands of active workers and freelancers who have been hit hardest by the closure of productions across the UK. Created by The Film and TV Charity in close partnership with the BFI, the fund opens for applications supported by initial donations totaling £2.5 million from Netflix, the BFI, BBC Studios, BBC Content, WarnerMedia and several generous individuals.

The time-limited fund – applications will remain open for two weeks – is being administered by The Film and TV Charity, with support from BFI staff. The Film and TV Charity and the BFI is covering all overheads, enabling donations to go directly to eligible workers and freelancers across film, TV and cinema. One-off grants of between £500 and £2,500 will be awarded based on need.

According to a survey1, more than nine in 10 (93%) industry freelancers are no longer working due to the crisis; three-quarters (74%) are not expected to receive any support since they are either ineligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme or have not been furloughed as PAYE freelancers under the Job Retention Scheme. Three-quarters (74%) of respondents said they were very or extremely worried about their income in coming months while nearly half (45%) said they were worried about meeting basic living costs (food, medicine, accommodation).

Applications for the one-off grants can be made via The Film and TV Charity’s website. Applications will close: 6pm Wednesday 22nd April 2020.

The Film and TV Charity advise applicants to download and read the guidance carefully. This explains who is eligible, and how to complete the application form: Read the guidance.

“Unprecedented times call for an exceptional response. The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund is unique, time-limited and designed to provide financial support where the need is most acute. Our systems will highlight applicants who are experiencing particular distress and our experienced team will respond to those red flags with personal follow-up calls.”

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity

“We know a huge number of freelance professionals in our community have been some of the hardest hit during the coronavirus crisis, so we are delighted that the fund is now open for applications. We are also incredibly thankful for the generosity shown by industry partners and individuals who have stepped in so far to support their colleagues.”

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of the BFI

The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund is launching alongside an appeal by The Film and TV Charity for additional donations. The Film and TV Charity today also unveils the new Covid-19 Film and TV Repayable Grants Scheme offering support for industry freelancers waiting for payments under the Government’s Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Opening from Wednesday, 15 April, applicants will have one week to make a claim via https://filmtvcharity.org.uk

The Relief Fund and Repayable Grants Scheme sit beside the Charity’s existing Hardship Fund which offers grants of up to £500 to provide stop-gap support. The charity already provides 24/7 mental health support to the industry, including counselling and legal advice, via the Film and TV Support Line on 0800 054 00 00.

Make a donation to the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund

Corporate donors can also contact Tom Woodward, Head of Fundraising at The Film and TV Charity tom.woodward@filmtvcharity.org.uk 

1 Online survey conducted by The Film and TV Charity completed by 1,895 people between 31 March and 3 April 2020.

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