Amazon sets up $6m fund to support European production community

First donations are £1m to UK’s Film and TV Charity, £500,000 to Theatre Community Fund.

By Orlando Parfitt 13 Aug 2020

Amazon sets up $6m fund to support European production community
Fleabag. Credit: Amazon

Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios have pledged $6m (£4.6m) to support the recovery of the European TV and film production community. 

The first donations from the fund are £1m ($1.3m) to the UK’s Film and TV Charity to set up a new grants scheme; and £500,000 ($652,405) to the Theatre Community Fund launched by Olivia Colman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Francesca Moody to provide hardship grants to theatre workers and freelancers across the UK.

The new Film and TV Charity grant will focus on supporting diverse talent, with eligible individuals able to apply for up to £4,500 as part of a package of support. The charity is now calling on the industry and individual donors to come forward and add to the founding donation from Amazon Prime Video, and has set a goal of raising £3.2m. 

The Theatre Community Fund launched in July with a £1m pledge from its founders and other leading names from the entertainment sector including Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gillian Anderson, Danny Boyle, Emilia Clarke and Richard Curtis.

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “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.”

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film and TV Charity, added: “We know that the pandemic has a disproportionate impact on people who are already underrepresented in our industry and that we must take action to prevent even greater inequality. There is a time-limited opportunity to protect the diversity of our industry for the future and I hope that others will seize this moment to contribute to our Covid-19 response.”

Amazon Studios’ upcoming European series include The Power (UK), El Cid (Spain), Deutschland89 and We Children From Bahnhof Zoo (Germany) Bang Bang Baby (Italy) and Voltaire, Mixte (France). The company signed an overall TV deal with Waller-Bridge last year.

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