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Dear all

The Film & TV Charity are hoping that their new fundraising drive, launched 23 April (details below), proves fruitful enough to enable a second wave of support grants. Much needed funds for a much appreciated organisation. Please help them spread the word.

Sarah & Matt
Talent Manager Founders






The Film and TV Charity is urgently appealing for donations to re-open the COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, revealing that nearly 3,000 people have applied for over £5m, exceeding the limits of the fund.

The fund will provide one-off grants from £500 to £2,500 to active workers in film, TV and cinema facing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

The charity will now begin processing applications but warns that it will need to prioritise those most in need without further donations.

Since the start of the crisis, the charity has also distributed £140,000 via their long-standing Hardship Fund to nearly 400 people with stop-gap grants of up to £500 to cover essential living costs such as food and bills.

The charity has seen an increase in demand for their mental health services. Almost 1,800 people have contacted their free, 24-hour Film and TV Support Line in the past six weeks, five times higher than average.

Resource from across the charity has been channelled into supporting the film and TV community during the crisis, seconding staff and redirecting existing funds into the COVID-19 response.  

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity, said: “Coronavirus is having a devastating impact on our industry. People are out of work and desperately worried about their future. The charity has been able to take urgent steps but the number of applications and calls for help demonstrate the extraordinary need for financial support for freelancers.

We’re all part of a brilliant, successful and creative community that is now facing some of its toughest ever challenges. We’re hugely thankful to those who have already donated.”

We need to do more. We’re urging people to help us to re-open these funds and extend our services to reach more of the most vulnerable in our industry.”

In March, as film and TV production shut down across the UK and cinemas closed, the freelance workforce lost its livelihood overnight. 93% are no longer working and many are struggling with little-to-no support from government schemes[1].

The Film and TV Charity responded rapidly to support an industry in shock, as production, business, cinemas and festivals shut down immediately, raising £3m for a new relief fund to support eligible workers and freelancers across the industry, in partnership with the BFI.

Donations came from Netflix, BBC Content, BBC Studios, BFI (using funds from the National Lottery), Sky, WarnerMedia and several generous individuals.

Having only recently released the findings from The Looking Glass research, which uncovered a mental health crisis in the industry, the charity is worried about the increased mental health risks during the pandemic, particularly for the freelance community who are not able to access company support structures.

In line with their Whole Picture Programme for better mental health, the charity has partnered with Mind and created tailored advice for the film and TV industry to help with common mental health concerns, available online.

New services available via the 24-hour Support Line are one-to-one video therapy; online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy); and bereavement counselling.

All of the services offered by the charity are open and accessible to the whole industry at no cost to individuals.

DONATE to The Film and TV Charity’s COVID-19 emergency response:



Corporate donors can also contact Tom Woodward, Head of Fundraising at The Film and TV Charity (

To read the charity’s report on mental health in the film and TV industry, the Whole Picture Programme, visit

Contact: Aimee McAvoy, Communications Manager


The charity’s Hardship Fund is open however is not currently able to distribute funds for issues related to COVID-19. Call the Film and TV Support Line day or night on 0800 054 00 00 or chat online at


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

Notes to Editor 

About The Film and TV Charity

The Film and TV Charity works behind the scenes of the film, television and cinema industry in the UK. From research to writing, through casting and production, to editing, sales, distribution and exhibition, the organisation supports the lives of everyone involved.


In February 2020 the charity released the results of ground-breaking research into the mental health and wellbeing of people working in the UK’s film and TV industry, which found that nine in 10 workers have experienced a mental health problem. The charity is convening the Film and TV Taskforce on Mental Health to co-fund and co-create an urgent two-year action plan, the Whole Picture Programme, as part of a 10+ year evidence-based plan.


The charity’s free, confidential, independent Film and TV Support Line provides 24/7 support for everyone working in the industry on issues such as debt, depression and harassment. People can access the service via phone 0800 054 00 00, online chat at or by emailing 


The Film and TV Charity was founded as the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund in 1924 and later became The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. Alex Pumfrey was appointed CEO in October 2017 and the organisation and embarked on a bold new mission to extend its reach and impact as The Film and TV Charity. HM Queen Elizabeth II has been Patron of the charity since 1952. Registered charity no. 1099660.


Guidance on writing about mental health

Media reporting can have a huge influence on public attitudes towards mental health. We encourage you to read Mind’s guidance on how to cover mental health sensitively and responsibly:


About the BFI

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and world cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world 
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences


The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.


Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger.


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