Together with the Arab Fund of Arts & Culture (AFAC), Netflix has announced an emergency relief fund valued at $500,000 to support Lebanon’s creative communities.
Set to be provided in the form of individual grants of $2000, the fund will go to aid those who were hardest hit by the pandemic and the August 4 explosion that shook the Middle Eastern nation. The fund will go to those Netflix described as ‘below the line crew, craftspeople and freelancers who are active in the television or film industry’.
Like Egypt, Lebanon is home to one of the region’s most significant film and TV scenes—a scene that whilst small, has seen immense success in recent years, with the likes of Nadine Labaki scoring an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film nomination in 2018 for her film Capernaum, which had already snagged Cannes’ Jury Prize that same year.
“The Lebanese creative community and Beirut’s thriving cultural scene form the backbone of entertainment across the Arab world. We are so grateful to be working with the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture and hope this fund supports the creative community during this difficult period,” said a Netflix spokesperson.
Alongside the rest of the region’s cultural hubs, Lebanon has found a supporter in AFAC over the years, an Arab activist-run organization known for its work in supporting creatives and researchers from the Arab world. The organization has granted almost $29 million to projects in the region since its founding in 2007. Soon after the devastating Beirut explosion took place, they launched a fundraising campaign, entitled ‘Lebanon Solidarity Fund’, which has raised over $48,000 to date.
Their latest partnership with Netflix comes at a critical point for Lebanon. The explosion shattered much of the city, causing 190 deaths, thousands of injuries, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. Not to mention, the pandemic pushed the already-struggling nation into an economic crisis.
More detailed guidelines and eligibility criteria will be made available on AFAC’s website on October 26.