Oscars Academy to Donate $6 Million to Support Film Industry Workers in Need

Money will be split between The Actors Fund, Motion Picture & Television Fund and Academy Foundation’s Grant Program

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson / AMPAS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will donate $6 million to help people specifically within the film industry who are in great financial need due to the outbreak of COVID-19, AMPAS announced Friday.

The Academy will donate the funds to institutions focused on supporting diverse filmmakers as well as out of work film professionals and performers both behind and in front of the camera.

The Actors Fund, which supports behind-the-scenes workers as well as performers, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which has offered essential relief to those in need since 1921, will receive $2 million each. Both of these national human services organizations provide immediate assistance to individuals working in the film industry during times of crisis.

The Academy will contribute an additional $2 million to the Academy Foundation’s own Grants Program, which aids in funding new and existing institutions, especially those that cater to under-served communities.

“The Academy has a long history of supporting our colleagues, particularly during the most dire circumstances,” Academy president David Rubin said in a statement. “As we face a pandemic, it’s incumbent upon us to help those in the motion picture community who are suffering. The shutting down of productions, businesses and theaters has had devastating consequences. By contributing financially to The Actors Fund, MPTF, and the Academy Foundation’s wonderful grants program, we can help provide our extended family with desperately needed assistance.”

“The Academy’s primary focus right now is helping our community make it through this unprecedented crisis. With our donation, The Actors Fund and MPTF can bring emergency services — including financial assistance, housing, family care and counseling — to more people. Both are long-standing, safety net organizations with the expertise to mobilize and respond quickly,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “Additionally, the Academy Foundation’s Grants Program will be able to continue its ongoing efforts to provide opportunity and funding for deserving, diverse storytellers in an even more effective way, and make sure these individuals feel supported during this time.”

AMPAS is among several industry and awards bodies that have given back specifically to artists and industry workers in need. The Recording Academy has also committed $2 million to its MusiCares fund that goes to supporting out of work music professionals and artists impacted due to a loss of income from touring, and the Grammys group has also encouraged other music labels and distributors to push funds to the charitable cause.