A £1 million Netflix donation will back a new film and TV relief fund for those whose livelihoods have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid-19 Film And TV Emergency Relief Fund will help support those in the industry “hardest hit at this extraordinary time of need”.
The fund was announced as TV and film productions in the UK grind to a halt amid the pandemic.
The BFI (British Film Institute), which will administer the fund with the Film And TV Charity, is asking other commercial industry organisations to contribute.
ANNOUNCED: Alongside @FilmTVCharity we have set up a new COVID-19 Film & TV Emergency Relief Fund with a Â£1m donation from @NetflixUK to help support the film and TV community who have been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic #BFIIndustry https://t.co/wqwYdVtMzE pic.twitter.com/gxvWRKHVTr— BFI (@BFI) March 24, 2020
It will provide emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the UK.
BFI chief executive Ben Roberts 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.”
The money is part of a 100 million dollar fund announced on Friday to help with hardship in the creative community around the world.
Anne Mensah, vice president of original series at Netflix, said: “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.”
It came as stars Peter Capaldi, Richard E Grant and Mel Giedroyc have called for more government support for creative workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They – along with David Tennant, Simon Russell Beale, Gemma Atkinson, Cush Jumbo, Alan Cumming and Alison Steadman – are among 14,000 signatories of a petition.
Actors’ union Equity is calling on the Government to do more for the self-employed and freelance.