Raising Films hosted an Industry Summit to discuss practical solutions for parents and carers working in the film and television industries. In partnership with The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (The CTBF), Raising Films also announced the launch of the Family Support Fund – a 12-month pilot scheme offering financial support to professionals working across the UK screen sector.
The summit built on the recommendations of Raising Films’ 2016 Making It Possible survey – the first nationwide statistical evaluation of the impact of parenting and caring on the working professionals in the screen industries – by bringing together key industry figures to discuss the four key action points identified in the survey:
- 1) enable financial assistance for childcare;
- 2) encourage industry-wide adoption of flexible working and access to childcare;
- 3) formalise a way to combat discrimination;
- 4) normalise conversations around caring commitments with employers and financiers.
Representatives from across production, distribution, exhibition, agents, unions and public funding bodies attended the summit, as well as the BFI, Channel 4, Creative Skillset and Women in Film & TV.
Tracy Brabin MP, a supporter of Raising Films since its foundation in 2015, delivered the opening keynote, entitled, “The leaky pipeline – what’s stopping women reaching their full potential in the TV and film industry?” Having worked as an actress and television writer before her election as Labour MP for Batley and Spen following the death of MP Jo Cox, Tracy has first-hand experience of the challenges faced by working mothers in the industry, she commented: “For working parents and carers in our film and television industries, it’s a struggle to get in, a struggle to get on, and a struggle to stay in the game.”
Actress Charlotte Riley was announced as Raising Films’ first Ambassador and delivered the Closing Remarks. Well known for her roles in high-profile television dramas Close to the Enemy and Wuthering Heights, and films including Edge of Tomorrow and Easy Virtue, Charlotte is currently collaborating with fellow Raising Films supporter Sarah Solemani (Bridget Jones’s Baby) on a feature film script. As a mother working in the industry, Charlotte commented: “I’m delighted to join the Raising Films campaign to support those parents and carers working in the UK film and television industries who find it difficult to continue their careers after having a family. Our challenge is not to reform the system but to transform it in order to make our industry more inclusive, more accessible and a better place to work.”
Answering the call for practical and financial assistance for parents and carers, Raising Films was delighted to announce the Family Support Fund, the result of a partnership with The CTBF. Aiming to help those on a limited budget who are juggling a professional career with caring responsibilities, the fund will provide short-term financial support to individuals and families. Via the fund, The CTBF will support Raising Films’ registered members by:
- contributing up to £75 a day to help cover the cost of childcare arrangements
- up to a maximum amount of £1,500 per beneficiary/per annum (with multiple applications accepted throughout the year).
The CTBF’s CEO D’Arcy Myers commented: “Our industry can often be an unpredictable place – so many find the obstacles of ill-health and raising a family in their path and sadly the costs and practicalities for care can be prohibitive, making returning to work very difficult. We are thrilled to be partnering with Raising Films to launch the Family Support Fund as we further our commitment to supporting more people from our industry who are facing barriers to work throughout their career journey. Together, we can make a real impact on the lives of industry professionals and their families.”
Hope Dickson Leach, Co-Founder of Raising Films commented on the Family Support Fund and summit: “Raising Films is delighted to be partnering with CTBF to offer short-term financial support that will offer tangible support to many individuals who are struggling to return to work in the film & TV industry. We know what a difference this kind of assistance can make to filmmakers with caring responsibilities, and look forward to building upon this initiative so that we can increase our reach and keep more individuals in the industry. We’re also thrilled to have such a diverse range of organisations taking part in our discussions to find practical solutions that will lead to real and sustained change in accessibility and inclusion, and look forward to publishing our recommendations in the summer.”
To find out more about the Family Support Fund go to ctbf.co.uk.