Pact Council has voted unanimously to offer free access to its services and resources to all eligible UK indies for a period of six months in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Existing producer members’ payments will be frozen between April and September 2020 and those members who have paid in advance will receive a credit note for the period and will be offered the choice of either an immediate cash rebate or a discount against future renewal.

Pact says the offer will immediately put nearly £1m of cash directly back into the industry.

The free membership window for lapsed or new members will run from May to October 2020 and is open to any indies who meet the criteria to qualify as either a Full Producer, Affiliate or Film Member.

Pact CEO, John McVay said: “We hope that this critical support will help our existing members to weather this particularly challenging storm, where their income streams have been severely hit and there’s no certainty around when things might let up. We also encourage indies who are not currently members to take up the offer to benefit from the extra resources and support that Pact membership offers during this time.”

Pact Chair, Sara Geater said: “This pandemic is the greatest single threat our industry has ever faced and we will only get through it if we work together. It’s in everyone’s interest for indies to survive and be in as strong a position as possible to resume their normal activities as soon as it is feasible.”

Kate Norrish, Executive Producer of Hillbilly Films who are Pact members said: “We are a very small, wholly independent production company who had to halt filming on a feature film as a result of COVID-19 and never has our membership of Pact felt more vital… the clarity of the updates on furloughing and Pact’s brilliantly calm demeanour on the webinars has frankly been a God send. As a result, we have been able to communicate with our crew every step of the way which in turn has made them feel heard in these extremely challenging times.

It has also made us as producers feel part of a bigger community which given that we are all self-isolating has helped enormously.”

Staff Reporter