The Film & TV Charity

October 22nd, 2019

October 22nd, 2019

You may not have heard of the Film and TV Charity, but you need to know about them.  Hundreds of Film and TV professionals find themselves in some kind of difficulty, financial or otherwise, each year through no fault of their own.  The nature of the industry can leave you vulnerable to sudden changes and this charity exists to support you and help you realise you’re not alone.

Based in Soho, London they work behind the scenes of the film, television and cinema exhibition industry in the UK.    They provide advice, support and financial assistance to individuals and families who work, or have worked, in the Film and TV industry when facing personal and career challenges.

From research to writing, through casting and production, editing, sales, distribution and exhibition, they support the lives of everyone involved.

Their friendly team is practical and caring with an understanding of the day-to-day issues.   You can talk to them confidentially 24/7 on their Film and TV Support Line if you need practical assistance or just someone to talk to.

They also shine a light on the highs and lows of the industry, helping people to smash their career goals and fulfil their potential, with biannual awards available for talent development.  They also have funds available which can provide financial assistance for a variety of needs including help with child care, health concerns or car repairs, to ensure you can take every opportunity on offer.

The Support Line is a free, 24/7, independent and confidential helpline open to everyone working behind the scenes in the film, TV and cinema industry, whatever stage of your career you’re at.  The service can provide guidance on issues including bullying and harassment, debt, depression and legal issues, and is also just a listening ear if you need to talk to someone.   Call free on 0800 054 00 00.

The charity also offer a range of financial aid and talent development programmes which are open to experienced individuals from anywhere in the UK with at least 2 years’ industry experience.

Annual Awards

John Brabourne Awards are awarded twice each year for talent development for individuals rather than teams, projects or organisations.  Deadlines for applications are 31st January and 31st July.  You can apply for an award of between £1,000 and £5,000.  This supports talent development that includes production and development funding; post-production and travel expenses; course and tuition fees; equipment.

There are four open funds, and applications can be made all year round.  These are:

Welfare Fund – provides rapid access to funds to cover day-to-day living costs and unexpected expenses.  The charity typically provides short-term support to cover a wide range of issues including debt, rent and white goods.  Financial support does not usually cover course fees or equipment.

Family Support Fund – this supports parents and carers in partnership with Raising Films.  This fund provides short-term support to individuals or families to bridge a period of reduced income, rather than providing financial support for long periods.

Going Places – this can help you if you need to travel outside of your home region.  Awards are made on a fast-turnaround basis reflecting the short notice at which opportunities often arise.  This fund was designed in response to the increasing concentration of the screen industries in London and a few other hubs.

Open Horizons – in July 2018 the Film and Television Charity partnered with Northern Film + Media to launch a six-month scheme to help early career professional overcome disadvantages caused by their geographical location.  10 associates were chosen and given bespoke support to develop contacts, gain work experience and develop a wider understanding of how to progress within the industry.


CEO Alex Pumfrey

The Film and Television Charity was founded in 1924 as the Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund offering support to those who made the industry what it is today.  For the last 95 years they have been helping those working behind the camera in the industry, assisting several thousand people each year with long and short-term support.   In 2017 the charity appointed a new CEO, Alex Pumfrey.  They are now reviewing their direction, working to increase their reach within the industry, and focussing on raising their profile and their ability to fundraise and grow to help even more people each year.

The Charity are currently conducting ground-breaking research into the wellbeing and mental health of those working behind the scenes in the industry – The Looking Glass.  You can keep up-to-date by following on social media and signing up to the mailing list.

Keep in touch or find out more through their social media @filmtvcharity to hear the latest news, sign up for the newsletter and be the first to hear when they launch the findings of their mental health and wellbeing study.  Search on #WeAreFilmandTV across all social media platforms.

You can email to request a resource pack (digital assets for call sheets, websites, flyers, posters etc and stickers for your set, studio or office).

If you are interested in finding out more about what financial support is available to you, contact the Support Line in the first instance by phone 0800 054 00 00, email or chat online at and a friendly call handler will direct your enquiry.




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By Sarah Dann

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