Amazon Backs New U.K. COVID-19 Fund for Diverse Talent

Alex Pumfrey - H - 2020
Credit: The Film and TV Charity

Film and TV Charity CEO Alex Pumfrey

BAFTA, BBC Studios, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ViacomCBS have also donated to the fund from the U.K.'s Film and TV Charity.

The U.K.'s Film and TV Charity, which has already distributed several million dollars to creatives hit by the COVID-19 crisis, is launching a new recovery fund that aims to protect diverse talent and help them sustain their careers through and out of the pandemic.

The Recovery Fund — which will distribute up to £2 million ($1.56 million) to U.K. film, TV and cinema workers — was founded with a £1 million ($1.28 million) donation from Amazon Prime Video, alongside donations from BAFTA, BBC Studios, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and ViacomCBS, as well as private donors and fundraising by people within the industry. The money from Amazon comes from a $6 million pot it announced in August to help support European creative communities.

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. The new scheme hopes to delivery both financial and wellbeing support enabling people to support themselves for up to six months, countering the risk that the pandemic will entrench inequality within the industry.

"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," said Film and TV Charity CEO Alex Pumfrey.

"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 U.K.’s production community, specifically offering support for our industry’s diverse talent pipeline," said Amazon Studio's director of European originals, Georgia Brown.

"We know this help is much-needed right now as the U.K. 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."