The Directors Guild Foundation has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to aid members facing financial crisis. The new fund will support DGA members affected by the industry’s shutdown with $1,000 financial relief grants.
“The Foundation has such a rich history of members helping members, and our guild is so proud to support this important new Fund,” DGA president Thomas Schlamme said Thursday. “In this time of crisis, the DGA is working on all fronts to aid our members – be it in our work with industry employers, with the government, or with the Foundation through this commitment. And in maintaining that tradition of members helping members, I encourage all DGA members who are fortunate enough to be able to help support the Foundation to donate.”
The new fund was seeded with a $200,000 commitment from the foundation, and a $100,000 donation from the DGA. The guild’s longtime banker, City National Bank, has also made a contribution. The fund will be administered by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, and the Emergency Relief Fund grants will exist alongside the foundation’s longstanding interest-free loan program that offers aid to members experiencing financial hardships and emergencies.
“More help is on the way,” said foundation chair Todd Holland. “As productions remain shut down for an undetermined length of time due to COVID-19, there are members starting to feel the financial strain. This new Fund will help ease some of that burden. We’ve also seen an outpouring of humanity from our DGA family asking how they can help. Giving to the Foundation is a way to help make an immediate impact. We thank the DGA and City National Bank for joining with the Foundation in seeding this Fund. We also extend our utmost gratitude to the MPTF and their experienced social workers who will administer this Fund, and who have supported DGA members and the greater entertainment community for nearly a century.”
“The Directors Guild Foundation, the DGA and the entire DGA family have been longstanding partners to the MPTF, supporting the workers who create the best film and television enjoyed the world over,” said MPTF president and CEO Bob Beitcher. “They’ve always been there to lend a hand and give generously to help the greater community, making multi-millions of dollars of contributions to the MPTF through the decades. This new Fund will help address the needs of Guild members facing crisis. We stand ready to facilitate these critical grants as we continue our work to support entertainment industry workers during this unprecedented time.”
DGA members in good standing who were working on productions at the time of the suspension of production in March, or had a commitment to begin work on a production suspended at that time, will be eligible to apply for a grant if they have less than $10,000 in liquid assets, or if they have a demonstrated need.