The Film and TV Charity has announced an ‘unprecedented’ extra £500,000 to help UK film, TV, and cinema workers after an 800% rise in applications for support.
The applications for the charity’s stop-gap grants were 800% higher in July 2023 compared to the same month in 2022.
A recent survey by The Film & TV Charity into the financial resilience of industry workers found 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.
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.
Insights from the survey will be presented and examined during the charity’s Edinburgh session, entitled Production under pressure: Supporting life on the frontline, this afternoon (23 August).
Commenting, Ryder said:
“The rise in grants applications we have seen, and the testimony we are hearing from production staff feeling the effects of a wide range of factors all serve to underline a systemic problem with the financial resilience of the workforce who drive the UK production sector.
“Having weathered the pandemic as an industry, the cost-of-living crisis, and other contributing factors like the impact of US strikes on global production, and pressures on scripted and unscripted production budgets, see financial instability emerging as a growing concern and a significant contributor to the mental health and wellbeing of film, TV, and cinema workers, especially freelancers and other already marginalised workers.”
The charity is encouraging anyone dealing with financial worries or debt, or who is experiencing mental health concerns to contact its free, 24/7 Film and TV Support Line by calling 0800 054 0000, where they can access tools and advice to support their financial wellbeing, as well as check their eligibility and apply for urgent financial support.