Streaming giant Netflix has united with Australian mental health charity Support Act (which helps arts and entertainment industry workers during times of crisis) to create a new $1 million emergency relief fund to aid the hardest hit workers in the Australian film and television industry who have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, which was made possible thanks to Netflix $1 million donation, will distribute $1,000 one-time grants to creative workers who are currently unable to work following the shutdowns.
According to a statement, “workers such as assistants, coordinators, technicians and operators from different production departments like camera, sound, music, art, make-up, costume design, locations and transportation, among others, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis,” will be eligible to apply for the $1000 benefit.
In addition to the fund, Netflix will be making an undisclosed financial donation to Support Act to assist its ongoing provision of crisis relief services to musicians, crew and music workers; and its mental health promotion activities which are now also available to arts workers across Australia.
The impact of COVID has been tough for many sectors, including Aussie TV and film freelancers who may not be eligible for other forms of support. That’s why we’re proud to be partnering with @SupportAct on a Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund. https://t.co/pkzgiku44t
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) June 11, 2020
“The board of Support Act recognises the huge impact that COVID-19 has had on production personnel across all of the creative industries, and the strong alignment that exists between the music industry and the Screen Arts,” Support Act CEO Clive Miller said in the statement.
“We congratulate Netflix on this initiative and we welcome the opportunity to partner with them to help deliver these funds at this extraordinary time of need.”
The creation of the fund is part of an announcement Netflix made in March to set up a USD $100 million fund for those whose jobs have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has since been increased to $150M.
Applications for the fund will open on Monday, June 15 at 9am AEST through Support Act’s website.