The USD 500,000 fund will aid below-the-line crew, craftspeople, and freelancers across the Arab region, bringing the total hardship fund investment to USD1m.
Netflix has announced a new hardship fund in collaboration with the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC) to support those operating in the region’s film and TV community, most impacted by the pandemic.
The fund, valued at USD 500,000, will provide financial support in the form of individual grants (USD 2000 per grant) to below-the-line crew, craftspeople and freelancers who are active in the television and/or film industry in the Arab region, and who have faced economic hardship resulting from the disruption of normal life, halts in productions, and reduced opportunities due to the pandemic.
Starting 9 June, members of the region’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 most recent projects they have worked on, references, an overview of any other emergency support that they might have received last year and a brief description of challenges such as cancelled or delayed projects.
Speaking about the partnership, Netflix spokesperson said: “We have expanded the emergency fund to support more people from the Arab creative community. Forging the right partnerships allows us to create jobs, build talent pipelines and support the industry. 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.”
Workers such as assistants, coordinators, technicians and operators from different production departments like camera, sound, 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 for the one-time benefit.
Rima Mismar, AFAC’s Executive Director, added: “We are glad to maintain the balance between our emergency support and our longer-term offering of general grants. This partnership with Netflix has allowed us to be swifter in our emergency response and to reach out to individuals who are not normally a part of our direct grants’ recipients. We hope this Fund will contribute to alleviating some of the pressures suffered by the film and TV workers across the region who form the backbone of the industry.”
An evaluation committee composed of five independent members from the industry will evaluate applicants and determine the Fund’s recipients. The evaluation and selection process will be stringent in transparency and fairness, in line with AFAC’s grant-making way of working.
The Fund is open to all Arab nationalities anywhere in the region including Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Lebanese and Arab film and TV workers who are based in Lebanon are not eligible to benefit from the fund.
In December 2020, AFAC and Netflix announced that 246 grants had been awarded to Lebanon’s film & TV community following a similar partnership. The relief is part of Netflix’s USD 150m hardship fund to support creative communities across the world who have been impacted by the pandemic.