Netflix announces a new $500,000 COVID-19 emergency relief fund in collaboration with the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture to support Lebanon’s hardest hit film and TV community.
Netflix has announced the establishment of a Film and Television emergency fund in collaboration with the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC) to help the hardest hit workers in the creative community.
The fund, valued at USD 500,000, will provide financial support in the form of individual grants ($2000 per grant) to Lebanon’s film and TV community, primarily below-the-line crew, craftspeople and freelancers who are active in the television or film industry, and have faced economic hardship resulting from the disruption of normal life, halts in productions, and little to no opportunities in the Film and TV industry due to the impact of the global pandemic. This fund comes at a critical time for Lebanon, which has witnessed tremendous social, political and economic changes, coupled with the spread of a global pandemic and the recent catastrophic port blast.
From 26 October, members of Lebanon’s film community will be able to apply for the fund by filling out an online application form and providing supporting documentation including a list of the five most recent projects they worked on, two references, an overview of any other emergency support that they might have received this year and a brief description of the applicants’ challenges such as cancelled or delayed projects.
“The Lebanese creative community and Beirut’s thriving cultural scene form the backbone of entertainment across the Arab world. We are so grateful to be working with the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture and hope this fund supports the creative community during this difficult period,” said a Netflix spokesperson.
“The multiple crises that Lebanon has been facing over the past year expose further the vulnerability and precarity of the arts and culture sector and magnify long-standing inequalities and lack of social safety nets. There is a real fear of loss of livelihoods for freelance artists, professionals and practitioners which may eventually lead to migration and creativity drain. We hope that this support will offer the community of practitioners a sense of solidarity and something to hold on to while fighting its way out of this emergency situation,” said AFAC Executive Director Rima Mismar.
In March, Netflix announced a USD 100 million hardship fund to support creative communities across the world who have been impacted by the pandemic, which has since increased to USD 150 million.
Detailed guidelines and eligibility criteria for intending applicants will be available on the AFAC website starting 26 October.