Amazon launches Covid-19 fund to support European screen industry

Jennifer Salke

Amazon Studios and Amazon Prime Video have pledged $6m to support the European TV and film production industry’s creative community through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Donations will be made to Covid-19 relief funds in countries across Europe that support the creative sector, with the first confirmed awards including £1m ($1.27m) to the UK’s Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 Response and a £500,000 donation to the Theatre Community Fund.

The Film and TV Charity has so far distributed more than £3.3m in financial support since the start of the crisis and launched a range of new mental well-being services to support thousands of workers in the UK film, television, and cinema industry.

The Amazon Prime Video donation will help to launch a second wave of support, including a new grants scheme that will focus on supporting diverse talent as the industry recovers and production resumes, with eligible individuals will be able to apply for up to £4,500.

The Theatre Community Fund, meanwhile, was launched in the UK by actor Olivia Colman, actor-producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge and producer Francesa Moody to provide hardship grants to theatre workers and freelancers across the UK, dispersed and monitored by the Royal Theatrical Fund in partnership with the Fleabag Support Fund.

The fund launched late last month with a £1m pledge made up of donations from its founders as well as other leading names from the entertainment industry including Tom Hiddleston, Gillian Anderson and Danny Boyle.

The Amazon Studios donation will help the fund to continue to offer both hardship and creation grants of up to £3,000.

“The creative community in Europe has been vital to our success in producing high-quality Amazon Original TV series and movies for our global audience, and it is essential for us to help that community through this pandemic,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios.

“We’ve made our first donations of £1.5m today to provide support to the talented freelancers from the UK’s creative community who have been directly affected by the closure of theatres and halt in TV & film production.

“As we gear up production on a number of Amazon Original series across the UK and Europe in the coming months, we’re committed to continuing to support Europe’s talented creative community through this crisis.”

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