Netflix and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture offer $500,000 to help the region's film and TV industry workers

The fund supports Arab crew, craftspeople and freelancers who have had their work affected by the pandemic

Netflix is expanding its Hardship Fund with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to lend support to the regional TV and film industry. Reuters
Netflix is expanding its Hardship Fund with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to lend support to the regional TV and film industry. Reuters

Netflix has expanded its Hardship Fund to lend financial support to film and television industries across the Arab world.

The fund is an extension of last year’s emergency relief fund, which Netflix established in October 2020 along with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.

The emergency fund was created to help bolster Lebanon’s film and television sector after it was hamstrung by the Beirut port blast, as well the challenges brought on by the economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

Netflix and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture last year launched an emergency relief fund valued at $500,000 to help those in Lebanon's TV and film industry. Courtesy Netflix 
Netflix and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture last year launched an emergency relief fund valued at $500,000 to help those in Lebanon's TV and film industry. Courtesy Netflix

The fund was initially valued at $500,000 and offered aid to industry professionals in Lebanon in the form of individual $2,000 grants. In December 2020, Afac and Netflix announced that 246 grants had been awarded to Lebanon’s film and TV community.

The Hardship Fund now extends that support across the region, offering another $500,000 to industry crew, craftspeople and freelancers who have had their work affected by the pandemic.

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

Rima Mismar, executive director of Arab Fund for Arts and Culture

"We have expanded the emergency fund to support more people from the Arab creative community,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “Forging the right partnerships allows us to create jobs, build talent pipelines and support the industry. We are so grateful to be working with AFAC and hope this fund supports the creative community during this difficult period.”

Rima Mismar, executive director at AFAC, said the partnership with Netflix has allowed the foundation 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 are glad to maintain the balance between our emergency support and our longer-term offering of general grants. 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."

What you need to apply

Members of the regional film and TV industry can apply for the fund by filling in an online application, providing supporting documentation that includes a list of recent projects, references, an overview of any other emergency support they might have received last year and a brief description of specific challenges, such as cancelled or delayed projects.

Workers such as assistants, co-ordinators, technicians and operators from different production departments – 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.

An evaluation committee composed of five independent members from the industry will review applications and select the fund’s recipients. The selection process, an AFAC spokesperson said, will be “stringent in transparency and fairness”.

The fund is open to all Arab nationalities anywhere in the region, including the UAE, Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

Lebanese and Arab film and TV workers who are based in Lebanon are not eligible to benefit from the fund.

More information is available at arabculturefund.org

Published: June 9, 2021 01:12 PM

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