The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and Netflix announced Friday that 246 grants have been awarded to members of the Lebanese television and film community.
The monies are being disbursed under the AFAC-Netflix Hardship Fund.
The first collaboration between AFAC and the streaming service, the Hardship Fund primarily targets below-the-line (aka production) crew, craftspeople and freelancers – facets of the film and television industry that the pandemic has staggered worldwide and which in Lebanon have also been pummelled by over a year of economic contraction, currency collapse, and a devastating explosion at Beirut Port on Aug. 4.
The call for applications closed Nov. 9, and 380 submissions were received from Lebanon-based individuals of seven nationalities from around the region. Some 58 percent of the applicants were aged 25-35 years, 97 percent of whom work as freelancers in the film and television sectors.
The $500,000 fund offers individual grants of $2,000 each. The recipients were decided upon by a jury comprised of web and film director Amin Dora, TV producer May Abiraad, and film producer Sabine Sidawi.
The Hardship Fund is very much in line with others AFAC has been organizing since early 2020 with Al-Mawred al-Thaqafy (Cultural Resource). They co-organized the Solidarity Fund for Arts and Culture Structures in Lebanon.
The AFAC-Netflix partnership falls under the umbrella of the $100 million hardship fund, which Netflix 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.