Urgent appeal addresses COVID-19 film and TV emergency

The Film and TV Charity is inviting donations to the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, created in partnership with the BFI and supported across the industry. The fund provides short-term relief to eligible workers and freelancers across film, TV and cinema who are facing hardship as a result of productions closing amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a survey (see footnote) more than nine freelancers in 10 (93%) 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-Employed Income Support Scheme or have not been furloughed as PAYE freelancers under the Job Retention Scheme. The Film and TV Charity and the BFI are 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.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity, said: “Our survey highlights deep anxiety amongst freelancers who are the lifeblood of TV and film production. Our broad and diverse industry – which includes camera operators, lighting and sound specialists, electricians, hair and make-up artists, costume designers through to editors, distributors and cinema staff – faces an emergency caused by a single unprecedented issue.

“Thanks to donations from Netflix, the BFI, BBC Studios, BBC Content, WarnerMedia and several generous individuals, the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund starts with an initial £2.5 million. We expect thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of applications and know we will need more funds if we are to help all those who need it most. Hence today’s emergency appeal.

“By donating, corporates and individuals will be helping those who have been vital to our industry’s huge success story; this is our industry rallying to support our community. I believe we can come together like never before, and that we will eventually emerge from this crisis with a kinder, more compassionate and even more creative spirit.”

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 [email protected] 


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