Netflix and Support Act announce $1million screen relief fund

Applications for the fund open next week

Netflix has joined forces with mental health charity Support Act to create a $1 million emergency relief fund. The fund will seek to aid Australian film and television workers who have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund will distribute $1,000 one-time grants to creative workers who are currently unable to work. According to a statement on the fund, “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.

Support Act will be administering the fund after receiving a $1 million sum from Netflix. In addition to the fund, Netflix will be making an undisclosed financial donation to Support Act.

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“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.”

Applications for the fund will open on Monday, June 15 at 9am AEST through Support Act’s website.

The additional financial boost for Support Act follows similar donations from the Federal Government, live-streamed music events and other companies.

In March, Netflix established a $100 million fund to support creatives whose work has dried up during the pandemic.

The announcement coincides with Netflix’s decision to remove four series by Chris Lilley from its catalogue – We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys and Jonah From Tonga – for their use of racial slurs, blackface and yellowface.

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