Sam Mendes and Netflix set up 500,000 fund to support UK theater workers – deadline
The streamer is donating $ 620,000 (£ 500,000) to start the initiative, which will award grants of up to £ 1,000 per person. To be eligible, applicants must have worked in theater between March 31, 2020 and early 2019. The aim is to support those who are not eligible for UK government financial aid programs. The first round of applications will be open for one week starting at 12:00 GMT (4:00 PST) today.
Theaters have been closed in the UK since March 16 due to government coronavirus closures. As the country begins to emerge from its lockdown, theaters remain a medium to operate at significant capacity, and prominent figures including Cameron Mackintosh have said important shows won’t return until 2021.
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Mendes wrote an editorial in the Financial Times last month calling the current situation “the biggest challenge for British cultural life since the outbreak of World War II” and asking for support from streamers.
“It would be deeply ironic if the streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime et al – were to lock in millions of our best acting, producing, writing and directing talents, while the very artistic culture that nurtured this talent pool is allowed to die, “he wrote.” Is there anyone among these people willing to use a fraction of their COVID-19 windfall to help those who have been fatally injured?
Netflix seems to have answered the call with this donation. The initial pot is likely to dry up very quickly, but the organization is hoping that figures in industry, corporations, charitable trusts and theater goers could all donate to fuel further tours.
“We have created a fund to which the most vulnerable independent theater practitioners can now apply. It is specially designed for theater workers who find themselves on the verge of breaking up, for those who cannot put food on the table or pay their bills, or for those who plan to quit the profession altogether, ”explained Mendes.
“I am well aware that this is a drop in the ocean in terms of what is needed for full recovery, but I hope it could provide some form of survival until Long-awaited bailouts to be announced by the government. In the meantime, I encourage anyone in need of urgent help to apply.
“Despite careful and collaborative consultation with DCMS, we are still waiting for the government to announce a date when theaters can fully reopen. So far, more than 290,000 workers are in limbo and desperately worried about their future, with theaters and producers having no choice but to take on the worst-case scenarios, ”added Julian Bird, CEO of the Society. of London Theater and UK Theater.
“We remain gravely concerned for the thousands of artists who have little or no income, especially those who have fallen through the cracks and missed government programs. Currently, these artists have no idea when they could make money again. “
“Playwrights and directors, theater artists and performers, songwriters and comedians are also the lifeblood of our industry and while Netflix has been luckier than many, in the end we are as strong as the people we work with, ”added Netflix. Anne Mensah, vice-president, original series.