EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”
The entire event was filmed in advance due to the pandemic and social distancing rules.
The British Academy put on arguably its most unorthodox awards show on Thursday night.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the red carpet ceremony for the BAFTA Games Awards at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall had to be scrapped, replaced instead with a prerecorded broadcast streamed online. Newly imposed government rules regarding social distancing meant that host Dara Ó Briain — still wearing a tuxedo — filmed his segments in advance from his spare room, with every nominee having recorded an acceptance speech, just in case.
"This entire awards ceremony feels like it's taking place in a cut scene from The Last of Us," said Ó Briain, who also warned that his cat might walk through at any moment.
The evening, unusual as it may have been, saw the sci-fi action-adventure mystery Outer Wilds take best game honors, alongside awards for game design and original property. Disco Elysium also claimed three prizes, for debut game, narrative and music.
Performer in a leading role went to Gonzalo Martin for Life Is Strange 2 episodes 2-5, while Control's Martti Suosalo was named best performer in a supporting role.
Action-adventure Luigi's Mansion 3 won in the new animation category; artistic achievement honors went to Sayonara Wild Hearts; Ape Out was hailed for audio achievement; Apex Legends took home the BAFTA for multiplayer; and Path of Exile won for evolving game.
Other nods went to Observation for British game; Untitled Goose Game in the family category; Kind Words lo fi chill beats to write to for games beyond entertainment; and the genre-defying Death Stranding, from writer, director and designer Hideo Kojima, for technical achievement.
The event saw Metal Gear Solid creator Kojima also accept — via a prerecorded video — the British Academy's highest honor, the BAFTA Fellowship, with the likes of Edgar Wright and Park Chan Wook having sent in video messages.
Source: Hollywood Reporter