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  • The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund has been relaunched as ‘The Film & Television Charity’ with a revitalised strategy to support the wellbeing of people working in Film, TV and cinema.
  • New ‘Going Places’ travel fund announced to complement the forthcoming ‘Film & TV Support Line’.
  • Industry speakers discuss the needs of workers in Film and TV including writer and presenter Sue Perkins, producers Gareth Neame, Rebecca O’Brien and Simon Cornwell, Curzon’s Philip Knatchbull, Edinburgh International TV Festival director Lisa Campbell, award-winning location manager Sue Quinn, writer/producer Kim Tserkezie, and audience/programming/distribution consultant Jonny Tull.

London, 15 March 2018: The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund has today relaunched as The Film & Television Charity. The Charity is revealing its new name and Alex Pumfrey, CEO, is setting out its plans for extending its reach and impact to help people working in the sector during an industry conference – RE: FOCUS 2018 – which it is hosting today at BAFTA.

RE:FOCUS 2018, chaired by Kirsty Lang, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme, Front Row, examines the future of working in the Film and Television industry from the perspective of workers and employers.   The conference is being opened by Cameron Saunders, Vice President of The Film & Television Charity and Managing Director, Theatrical of 20th Century Fox UK, and features a key note interview by writer, presenter and comedian Sue Perkins (The Ganges with Sue Perkins).

Cameron Saunders, Vice President of the Film & Television Charity said,

“Today is an opportunity to re-connect with the film and television industry that we serve, and the wonderfully talented and creative people who work in it.  We have big ambitions to expand the types of support we offer throughout people’s careers – making the charity relevant from the moment they join, and at every stage that follows. This will massively increase our scale, and our impact”.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film & Television Charity, explains the changes and the new direction the Charity is taking in providing new and vital services for the sector.

“The Charity has been providing support for individuals in the industry for over 90 years, and is uniquely well-placed to respond to the challenges and pressures of those working now in the growing and fast-changing world of Film, TV and cinema.  We will continue to provide financial support to those in times of acute need, but will be extending our reach to meet the needs of all those working in the sector from the moment they join. We will be seeking to offer new forms of practical and emotional support that can support the wellbeing of everyone who helps bring stories to our screens – to radically increase our impact.

“From our own research we’ve heard how tough and lonely it can be in Film and Television. With two-thirds of our industry operating as freelancers, it can feel very much as if you are ‘on your own’. People talk about long hours, job insecurity, working away from home, barriers to entry, reliance on personal networks, managing work/life balance especially for those with caring responsibilities, financial strain and dealing with rejection, and the lack of clear career progression.  And in a fragmented workforce out people are particularly vulnerable to bullying and different types of harassment.

“The two new initiatives that the Charity is introducing this year, the Film & TV Support Line and Going Places are immediately targeting support where people need it most and extending the Charity’s services and reach to everyone in the sector across the UK.”

The launch of the 24/7 and free Film & TV Support Line across the UK from April is the first step along the path. Not only will it help anyone who has been bullied or harassed in the industry it will also assist those facing other problems such as mental health issues, unemployment, sickness, and debt.

The Film & Television Charity is also introducing a new UK-wide travel fund. Going Places will offer grants to cover travel and subsistence expenses for individuals needing to attend training, interviews or pitches. The Charity is working with Northern Film + Media after the successful pilot scheme in the north-east.

The Film & Television Charity’s mission is to support the wellbeing of those who bring stories to the screen, to provide the kind of services which will help them in their personal and professional lives and contribute to the growth of the sector. We will do this in three ways:

  • To continue to offer financial assistance to those who need it either in times of crisis, or moments of transition, or to overcome some of the structural barriers within the sector.
  • To build a new strand of ‘everyday support’ where it can offer both practical resources and emotional and wellbeing support to colleagues in the sector.
  • To speak up about the challenges it sees people facing, based on its work with individuals and helping to shine a light on the under-reported issues of work in film and television.

The Charity has been supporting around 600 people and their families every year and also has a successful talent development programme which includes the John Brabourne Awards (JBAs) which provide a stepping stone for individuals who are talented and driven but face hurdles in pursuing their careers.

Other industry leaders taking part in the conference at BAFTA are:

  • Gareth Neame, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning producer (Jamestown, Downton Abbey, The Last Kingdom, Spooks, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies);
  • Rebecca O’Brien, Cannes Palme d’Or award winning producer (I, Daniel Blake, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Land And Freedom);
  • Philip Knatchbull, CEO of independent distribution and exhibition and BAFTA award-winning company Curzon;
  • Lisa Campbell, director of the Edinburgh International TV Festival;
  • Simon Cornwell, producer (The Night Manager, Hotel Artemis, The Little Drummer Girl) and co-CEO and Founder of The Ink Factory;
  • Sue Quinn, award-winning location manager (Harry Potter franchise, Notting Hill, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them);
  • Kim Tserkezie, actor, presenter, writer and producer (Wolfblood, Bliss, Balamory);
  • Katherine Hearst, animation director and graphic artist (art department, Into The Woods);   and
  • Jonny Tull, film programmer and distribution consultant to producers, distributors and festivals.


For further information:

Notes to Editors

About The Film & Television Charity

The Charity was founded by the industry in 1924 to help those working in Film, cinema and TV, and their families in times of need.

Over 94 years, our events, donations from corporate supporters and individuals, and legacies have enabled us to support thousands of people.

Alex Pumfrey was appointed CEO of The Film & Television Charity, formerly the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund in October 2017.

HM The Queen is the Patron of the Charity.