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Ffilm Cymru's Covid-19 Support

Ffilm Cymru has announced a support package worth £530,000 for the Welsh film sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Announcing the package of support, CEO Pauline Burt says “We are seeing incredible creativity and ingenuity as the Welsh film sector adapts to the challenges that Covid-19 is presenting. We know that these challenges cut deep and are likely to continue to have a profound impact for a long time, and we are acutely aware that we are a relatively small fund with more areas of need than we can address in isolation. Therefore, it is reassuring to work alongside many people and organisations that are pulling together and collaborating, at speed, to share insights, develop support mechanisms, and start to address the challenges to come, from developing new film set and venue protocols to ensure the workforce and audiences are safe, to considering the challenges of insurance.

“As this is a journey to whatever a ‘new normal’ may be, we will continue to listen to the many professionals working right across our sector, and to use their feedback to inform further support –including in new areas of need, where necessary. In the meantime, we continue to advocate for support for freelance crew, many of whom are not able to benefit from the Chancellor’s freelance support scheme, and we are looking at what more we can do to support companies facing a potentially protracted period of challenge.”

Ffilm Cymru’s Covid-19 support package includes:

An Emergency Relief Fund for writers, directors, producers and film education practitioners that are experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. Applicants can apply for non-repayable grants of up to £1,500. Ffilm Cymru aims to publish Guidelines and Application Forms for the new Emergency Relief Fund by 30th April. The deadline for applications will be the 15th May, and applications will be considered in-the-round, rather than on a first-come basis.

An accelerated Development Fund for writer, director and producer teams developing their feature film projects. Applicants will be able to include overhead, legal, accounting and other business-related costs, alongside innovation-related costs, such as testing audience demand and exploring IP exploitation. This fund is open now and will remain open to applications on a rolling-basis. We expect to offer funding equivalent to an average 12-month period within the first 6-months of the year.

An increased Horizons Fund to support individual emerging writers, directors and producers. This may include filmmakers yet to make a film budgeted at £1m, or individuals moving into film with a track-record in other disciplines such as theatre, TV or novel-writing. Applicants can apply for up to £10,000 to develop a film project, or up to £6,000 for continued professional development, such as training or mentoring

Additional funds to support business innovation for producers and film education practitioners. Ffilm Cymru will support the costs of expert advisors – including lawyers and those experienced in wider IP exploitation to support producers in diversifying their business model, and will offer grants (guidelines will be published mid-May) to film education practitioners adapting business models and practices.

Ffilm Cymru has additionally adapted its operations in relation to 2019-20 funding awards to support film exhibitors in these challenging times, including:
 
Accelerating payments to cinemas funded through Ffilm Cymru’s Audience Access fund to swiftly meet their immediate needs, and

Advancing funds to film festivals and pop-up/community providers against any costs incurred, regardless of whether or not screenings and events were able to proceed as planned.

Guidelines for Ffilm Cymru’s reconceived Film Exhibitor Fund 2020-21 will be published in May, with application deadlines set in June and October. Applications are welcome from film exhibitors seeking support for core costs, as well as those looking to engage their audiences in new ways during the lockdown period.

In addition to financial support, Ffilm Cymru is providing online training and spaces for filmmakers, exhibitors and film education practitioners to connect, collaborate, share concerns and explore new ways of working. Information on wider support mechanisms has been collated and organised by relevance to filmmakers, exhibitors or film education practitioners, available on our website. This includes BFI support (including a relief fund for exhibitors administered by Film Hub Wales), Creative Wales, Arts Council of Wales, broadcaster and non-sector specific UK and Welsh Government support.

As the situation evolves, Ffilm Cymru will continue the conversation with UK and Welsh Governments, the BFI and others, about the challenges presented by Covid-19, and the interventions needed to overcome them. Feedback and insights from the Welsh film community are welcome. Please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ffilm Cymru's support is made possible by National Lottery funding, managed on behalf of the Arts Council of Wales and the BFI.