AFAC and Netflix partner to support film and TV community in Lebanon

Ahram Online , Sunday 1 Nov 2020

The AFAC-Netflix Hardship Fund is currently accepting submissions

(Photo: courtesy of AFAC)

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and Netflix have announced earlier this month their collaboration on the establishment of an emergency relief fund, the AFAC-Netflix Hardship Fund, to support Lebanon’s film and TV community.

The fund, valued at $500,000, will provide financial support in the form of individual grants ($2,000 per grant) to Lebanon's film and TV community, primarily below-the-line crew, craftspeople and freelancers who are active in the television or film industry, and have faced economic hardships resulting from the disruption of normal life, halts in productions, and little to no opportunities in the film and TV industry due to the impact of the global pandemic. This fund comes at a critical time for Lebanon, which has witnessed tremendous social, political and economic changes, coupled with the spread of a global pandemic and the recent catastrophic port blast.

"The Lebanese creative community and Beirut’s thriving cultural scene form the backbone of entertainment across the Arab world. We are so grateful to be working with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and hope this fund supports the creative community during this difficult period," said a Netflix spokesperson.

“The multiple crises that Lebanon has been facing over the past year expose further the vulnerability and precarity of the arts and culture sector and magnify long-standing inequalities and lack of social safety nets. There is a real fear of loss of livelihoods for freelance artists, professionals and practitioners which may eventually lead to migration and creativity drain. We hope that this support will offer the community of practitioners a sense of solidarity and something to hold on to while fighting its way out of this emergency situation,” said AFAC Executive Director Rima Mismar.

The AFAC-Netflix Hardship Fund call for submissions opened on 26 October and will run until 9 November, 17:00 Beirut time.

The submission guidelines, eligibility criteria, and submission form can be found here.

The AFAC-Netflix partnership falls under the umbrella of the $100 million hardship fund, which Netflix had announced in March, to support creative communities across the world who have been impacted by the pandemic, and which has since increased to $150 million.

It is also part of a series of response initiatives which AFAC launched this year, such as the Artist Support Grant and the Lebanon Solidarity Fund, the latter being in partnership with Culture Resource.

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