Film and TV Charity celebrates 100 years of support for behind the scenes workers

Feb 21, 2024

The Film and TV Charity has marked its centenary with the launch of a new promotional film, kicking off 12 months of activity that will capitalise on the occasion to deepen its engagement with every corner of the film, TV, and cinema industry.

The film, voiced by actor Maxine Peake, highlights the journey the Charity has been on since it launched in 1924 as a benevolent fund primarily supporting impoverished cinema workers and their families. Today, the Charity supports thousands of behind the scenes workers in hundreds of job roles, with a focus on mental and physical health, financial wellbeing, and equity and inclusion.

In recent years, following the launch of the Film and TV Support Line in 2017, the Charity (with the support of its Mental Health Task Force, comprising senior representatives from all of the major broadcasters and studios) has launched its confidential Bullying Advice Service and created the Whole Picture Toolkit, a free, online industry resource to support mentally healthy productions that has been adopted by 80 production companies on more than 150 productions to date.

The organisation, which made headlines with its support for thousands of workers during the pandemic, has also doubled down on financial wellbeing, recently publishing its latest report into the finances of industry workers following a well-publicised 800% rise in grant applications last summer. Later this year, it will also launch Reel Impact, a brand new strategic programme aimed at developing support, resources, and access for Black and Global Majority industry workers.

The organisation commenced a year of activity to promote its services to as wide an audience as possible earlier this month, holding a reception for supporters at the Bloomsbury Ballroom. It has also curated an exhibition in its Golden Square offices, showcasing how it has developed from its benevolent origins, and highlighting some early legacy donations, including a pair of the original red shoes from the titular 1948 Powell and Pressburger classic. Events taking place over the rest of 2024 will be announced in due course, focusing on growing awareness of the Charity’s support services among individuals, as well as raising funds, and opening doors for wider collaboration.

“Our centenary is an incredible milestone and we’re so proud to raise a glass to a fantastic achievement and the legacy of our founders,” said Marcus Ryder, CEO at the Film and TV Charity. “At the same time, it’s clear that thousands of people working in behind the scenes roles across the screen industries who are navigating systemic inequity, financial hardship, or dealing with undue strain on their mental and physical health all need our support perhaps more than ever. For that reason, the focus over our centenary year will rightly be on building relationships and making sure that, wherever someone works in the industry, they understand that we’re there to support them. I want to personally thank the amazing organisations and individuals who have supported us to date. Our celebrations over the next 12 months give us a brilliant opportunity to raise funds as we raise our profile, and we look forward to working with partners old and new to do just that.

“Please follow our social channels to find out more about the Charity’s legacy and its future plans, but if anyone reading this does just one thing to help us celebrate, please let it be the simple act of spreading the word so we can help everyone in this business to thrive.”

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