SASFED & NETFLIX COLLABORATE ON AN R8.3 MILLION COVID-19 FILM AND TV RELIEF FUND
The South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), has announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with Netflix to provide emergency relief to the hardest-hit workers in South Africa’s creative community.
Netflix will donate over R8,3 million, which will be administered by Tshikululu Social Investment, who will screen the applications for eligibility as well as disburse the funds to beneficiaries.
The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated creative communities all around the world, including South Africa, with many film and TV productions experiencing disruptions that have left thousands of workers without income. Netflix, in collaboration with SASFED and the IPO, will provide a one-time emergency relief grant to below the line workers such as electricians, carpenters, hair and makeup artists, drivers, costume designers and many other freelancers who are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis. The workers will be eligible to apply for the R15 000 one-time benefit.
Starting from August 3, 2020 the members of South Africa’s creative community will be able to apply by filling out an online application at Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za) or mailing physical applications. The eligibility criteria will be posted on Tshikululu’s website on 3 August 2020 when applications open.
Unathi Malunga, SASFED Executive Director: “SASFED is delighted about the announcement that the COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund will provide relief for workers in the film and TV sector who are not eligible for other available relief funds. The S.A. economy has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to struggling industry professionals. We hope other potential partners will follow Netflix’s example and support SASFED’s broader initiatives which offer assistance to industry professionals across the whole value chain – an initiative undertaken by industry, for the industry. SASFED applauds Netflix’s support of the local industry during the global crisis.”
Sisanda Henna, IPO co-Chairperson: “Following months of extreme hardship for most of our sector, the IPO is overjoyed that Netflix is providing this desperately-needed relief for those most hard hit by the pandemic – the industry’s below-the-line freelancers to whom no other relief has been available. This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the South African film and TV production industry, and we welcome them – with wide open arms – as a partner in our broader efforts to support the screen sector.”
Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for African Originals: “We’re proud to be working with The South African Screen Federation and the Independent Producers Organisation to support the hardest hit workers in TV and film production. South African crews are vital to Netflix’s success and we want to help those freelancers who most need support in these unprecedented times.”
In March, Netflix announced a $100M hardship fund to help the hardest-hit workers in the creative community across the world affected by the pandemic, which has since been increased to $150M. The R8,3 million contribution in South Africa is part of this initiative.