COVID-19 Recovery Fund Announced


Grants scheme established to protect the diverse talent pipeline with donations from Amazon Prime Video, BAFTA, BBC Studios, Netflix, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ViacomCBS



The Film and TV Charity is announcing a new Covid-19 Recovery Fund that will distribute up to £2m to UK film, TV and cinema workers who have been hit hardest by Covid-19, helping to sustain them and their careers through and out of the pandemic.


The new Recovery Fund, founded with a £1m donation from Amazon Prime Video, has grown thanks to donations from BAFTA, BBC Studios, Netflix, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ViacomCBS, as well as the generosity of private donors and the fundraising efforts of many people in the industry.


The new fund will seek to protect the industry’s diverse talent pipeline by focusing on supporting those at greatest personal and professional risk as a result of the pandemic.

Recent research commissioned by the charity has warned of the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on some groups, especially those who may already face barriers to staying in the industry, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers, women, those living outside of London, and people with a disability[1].


The fund is designed to support people hit hardest financially by the crisis and who are most likely to suffer the negative impact of the crisis on their careers. The scheme will deliver a targeted financial and wellbeing support that will enable people to support themselves for up to 6 months, countering the risk that the pandemic will entrench inequality within the industry.


The new grant scheme is part of the Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 Response, which has seen the charity rapidly mobilise to find new ways to support the industry community impacted by the shutdown of production and closure of cinemas across the UK.


To date the charity has raised more than £5.8m of ringfenced funding, launched a range of mental wellbeing services and provided critical ancillary services including financial guidance.


The charity needs to raise a further £900,000 to meet the costs of the Covid-19 Response and is inviting further donations to maximise the number of people the new fund will support.


Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film and TV Charity said: “We know that diverse talent – including women, those who are Black Asian or minority ethnic, and those who are disabled – are now being disproportionately impacted by the crisis due to a range of factors. So we have a real concern that without urgent support we will lose these people from our industry.

We’re incredibly grateful for the generous support of Amazon Prime Video, many BAFTA Members, BBC Studios, Sky Studios, Sony and ViacomCBS, as well as the generous individuals and enthusiastic efforts of people in the industry who have made this possible. We have a real opportunity to take action to support workers in greatest need now in order to protect the diversity of our industry for the future and I hope that others will seize this moment to donate to our Covid-19 Response.”


Georgia Brown, Director of European Originals, Amazon Studios, said:

“We’re thrilled that Prime Video’s £1 million donation has enabled the Film and TV Charity to launch a new fund to further support for the UK’s production community, specifically offering support for our industry’s diverse talent pipeline. We know this help is much-needed right now as the UK creative industry rebuilds and productions tentatively re-start across the country, so we’re delighted to be supporting the Film and TV Charity in their continued efforts to attract more donations so that even more members of our creative community, especially those who’ve been disproportionately affected, can be supported.”


Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive at BAFTA, said:

“Now, more than ever, we must come together as an industry to support the talented individuals who are struggling and do all we can to safeguard a diverse creative workforce. I would like to say a huge thank you to the BAFTA Members and supporters who have generously donated to the Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 Recovery Fund and who continue to support BAFTA’s own charitable mission. I would also like to applaud the Film and TV Charity for their ongoing work to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Tom Fussell, interim CEO BBC Studios, said: “We need to safeguard talented workers in the industry. We fully support the vital work of the Film and TV Charity, which is why we’re providing an additional donation that will give those that are most likely to be hit the hardest by the pandemic access to the help they need.”


Gary Davey, CEO Sky Studios, said: “Throughout the pandemic, the Film and TV Charity has provided crucial support to individuals across our industry. We are pleased to support this new fund, that is designed to protect those most likely to suffer a negative impact on their career due to the effect of COVID-19 on the film and TV sector.”


Wayne Garvie, President, International Production, Sony Pictures Television, said:

“The widespread support for this fund is a testament to how important it is for our industry to support our friends and colleagues who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic. We fully support this initiative, and all the extremely vital work done by the Film and TV Charity.”


Maria Kyriacou, President, ViacomCBS Networks UK and Australia, said:

“We are pleased to support the vital work done by the Film and TV Charity, in particular at this time of pressing need. The Covid-19 Recovery Fund is an important resource that will provide assistance to those in our industry most affected by the pandemic.”

[1] Research commissioned by the Film and TV Charity found that Covid-19 is having a disproportionately negative effect on: women; Black, Asian and minority ethnic people; young people; the disabled; and people suffering from mental ill-health. Barriers to obtaining work in and staying in work in the industry are likely to be heightened by the crisis. Those identified as experiencing barriers to obtaining work and staying in work are: women; carers; those from lower socio-economic backgrounds; Black, Asian and ethnic minority people; disabled workers; and those living outside of London and the South East. Wreyford, N. and S. Cobb (2020). No One Left Behind: Identifying Film and Television Workers Most at Risk of Hardship as a Result of Covid-19. Report for the Film and TV Charity.

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