The Film and TV Charity rolls out unprecedented extra £0.5million to help UK film, TV, and cinema workers in urgent financial need as industry faces critical economic conditions that could devastate the livelihood of professionals, with long term consequences for the industry as a whole
- Move follows a huge 800% surge in applications to the charity by industry workers in financial crisis and in need of urgent stop gap grants
- Unprecedented situation caused by multiple factors including US actors and writers strikes impacting productions globally; the cost-of-living crisis; and pressures on scripted and unscripted production budgets
- Research conducted in May suggests low levels of financial resilience across the workforce, with workers from under-represented groups more likely to be affected
- Nearly half of workers surveyed have less than £1,000 in savings, and 50% aren’t contributing to a pension
- The charity is calling on industry stakeholders to come together and work collectively to address this critical situation
The Film and TV Charity has confirmed it is adding an additional £500,000 to its existing budget in response to the increase it has seen in applications for support with urgent financial need. Following a briefing call with representatives from its corporate partners, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Prime Video, ITV, and Warner Bros Discovery have also pledged further donations to bolster the Charity’s budget, adding to donations from other organisations and individuals that have been made during the Charity’s summer campaign. Other partners are expected to add to the overall pot as the challenging period looks set to continue.
Supporting the industry
The Charity, which supports the mental health and the financial and social wellbeing of people working in behind-the-scenes roles in film, television, and cinema, made the announcement ahead of its incoming CEO, Marcus Ryder MBE, speaking to delegates at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
The move follows an 800% rise in applications for stop-gap grants in July 2023 compared to the same month in 2022 and is also in response to emerging evidence that workers across the industry are exposed to financial insecurity that can negatively impact their mental health, with a wide range of current and more systemic contributing factors causing a perfect storm for many.
The Charity’s recent survey looking at the financial resilience of industry workers shows that 46% of respondents had zero or less than £1,000 in savings and half aren’t contributing to a pension. People from marginalised groups were more likely to be affected, with carers, Black and Global Majority, and Disabled workers often finding it even harder to navigate current financial pressures with higher levels of debt and lower household incomes. Insights from the survey will be presented and examined during the Charity’s Edinburgh session, entitled Production under pressure: Supporting life on the frontline, featuring Ryder; financial wellbeing and inclusion consultant and Film and TV Charity Trustee, Kirsty Good; and Dean Webster, Head of Development at Ten66.
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