Sky, the Comcast-owned European pay-TV giant, has pledged to donate £500,000 ($624,000) to the COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund set up by the BFI and the UK’s Film And TV Charity.
Sky’s announcement follows similar donations from the BBC, Netflix, the BFI and WarnerMedia to fund, which is providing grants of up to £2,500 to workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.
The donation is set to raise the value of the fund to more than £3M and applications for grants opened last week. People can apply on the Film And TV Charity’s website, with the window for submissions closing at 6pm on April 22. The initiative is administered by the Film And TV Charity with support from BFI staff.
Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey said: “Those who work behind the scenes are the backbone of TV and film production in the UK. At this incredibly difficult time, it’s important that we do all we can to support our most needy freelance colleagues and we hope that this donation will help to alleviate some of the immediate financial challenges many of them are facing over the coming weeks and months.”
Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film And TV Charity, added: “Sky’s support is a fantastic boost to the Emergency Relief Fund that will make a huge difference to many, and Sky’s support of our long-term mental health strategy the Whole Picture Programme means that we’ll be working together to support the workforce through and beyond this crisis.”
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