History

A look through the years

We have a rich history of supporting our industry – from the iconic days of silent cinema to the birth of television, from black and white to colour and onward to the age of streaming.

We’ve changed as technology has evolved, while always supporting the people who are driving the dynamic and ever-changing world of screen. Our heritage means that we are uniquely-placed to understand the issues and offer support, and we will continue to adapt and innovate, just as our industry does.

Our founding

The Film and TV Charity was officially founded as the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund in the early days of cinema in 1924, set up with the generous gifts of our founders. It later became The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund.

Alex Pumfrey was appointed CEO in October 2017 and embarked on a bold mission to extend the reach and impact of the organisation, becoming a charitable organisation under a new name as the Film and TV Charity.

A story of extraordinary people

The history of the charity tells the story of the bright, visionary people behind the evolution of screen. We’ve been there through the innovations, right back to the days of music hall.

In many ways our industry has changed beyond recognition. But we’re still a people industry like no other: reliant on the skills, passion and creativity of thousands of people in an enormous variety of roles.

Timeline

1924

The organisation is officially constituted as the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund.

1924

A party held in London’s Royal Botanical Gardens is the first event officially held in aid of the Fund.

1936

The first of a series of gramophone records featuring ‘the Voice of the Stars’ is made and sold to raise funds.

1935

The first President of the Fund, William Jury buys Glebelands estate for 3,000 guineas, to be used as a rest and convalescent home by beneficiaries and their loved ones.

1936

The Lord Mayor of London formally opens the new rest and convalescent home.

An appeal for the upkeep and operating costs of the home is made and, amongst those responding, more than 100 donors included Gaumont-British Picture Corp. Ltd, Columbia Pictures, Fox Film Co., MGM, Paramount, United Artists, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros.

1940’s

Stars of screen and stage including Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Deborah Kerr record appeals for the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund.

1946

The Craggs, a hotel on the promenade at Morecombe, is purchased as a rest home in the north of England. A Garden of Remembrance is purchased at the local cemetery in 1953.

1946

The first Royal Command Film Performance is organised as a unique event to support the Fund. The event, a premiere of Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death, takes place at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square and is attended by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

The charity has held 70 fundraising Royal Film Performance™ events since 1946.

 1952

HM Queen Elizabeth II becomes Royal Patron of the charity.

1963

The word ‘television’ is added to the name of the fund, becoming known as the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.

1972

The Craggs is closed and sold.

1983

2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, wife of film director John Brabourne, opens a nursing wing at Glebelands.

1987

After renting at Royalty House on Dean Street for most of the 20th Century, Golden Square headquarters is purchased.

1994

HM The Queen, Patron of the Fund and HRH Prince Philip visit Glebelands.

2007

The John Brabourne Awards are founded in memory of the Oscar-nominated film producer of films including A Passage to India, who died in 2005.

2009

The Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation donates £1m to the Fund.

2009

Producer Peter Rogers bequests his estate, including a share of royalties from the iconic Carry On catalogue, to the Fund.

2015

The Royal Film Performance™ and World Premiere of Bond instalment Spectre takes place at the Royal Albert Hall and is attended by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry.

2017

Greensleeves Care is chosen to take over the running of Glebelands Care Home in order to offer more specialised care, and the estate is sold. A Garden of Remembrance exists in the grounds.

2018

Relaunched as a charity with a new name, the Film and TV Charity. The 24-hour Support Line is piloted.

2019

The Royal Film Performance™ returns with the World Premiere of Sam Mendes’ 1917 at ODEON Leicester Square, attended by TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Today

We’re almost at our centenary year … now proud to support more people than ever who are facing personal or career challenges, we’re helping a vibrant and diverse community to thrive with work like our pioneering mental health research.

As we did when we were founded, we rely on the support of industry and individual donations to fund our services. Support us today.

 

Our current Vice-Patrons:

Anne Bennett, Barbara Broccoli OBE, Debbie Chalet, Derek Cooper, Stan Fishman CBE, Sir Paul Fox CBE, Lord Grade CBE, Steve Jaggs, Barry Jenkins OBE, Ian Lewis, David McCall CBE, David Murrell, Sir Alan Parker CBE, Denise Parkinson, Lord Puttnam CBE, Sir Sidney Samuelson CBE, Jeremy Thomas CBE, Michael G. Wilson OBE