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Freelance Filmmakers Seek Financial Relief Amid Pandemic – Variety



Because the coronavirus pandemic continues to halt movie productions throughout the nation, the Freelancers Union and a coalition of 25 unbiased movie and media teams have referred to as on the federal authorities to assist its members.

The coalition’s request calls upon Senate majority chief Mitch McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and congressional members throughout the nation to make sure than any replenishment of the Paycheck Safety Program (PPP) contains stipulations that permit freelancers to qualify for monetary reduction.

“The PPP has the potential to supply a crucial monetary lifeline to America’s freelance and self-employed employees by offering forgivable loans to cowl payroll and enterprise bills,” the coalition’s assertion reads. “Sadly, with inadequate federal funds allotted and guidelines set as much as favor bigger companies, freelancers haven’t been capable of acquire entry to this important funding.”

The coalition discovered that greater than 80% of freelancers surveyed reported that they’d misplaced hundreds of {dollars} in wages resulting from shutdowns. Whereas freelancers had been allowed to use for PPP loans on April 10, one week after functions opened to small companies, the assertion explains that freelancers had been solely provided a interval of 4 enterprise days earlier than the Small Enterprise Affiliation introduced they had been closing functions resulting from exhausted funds.

Throughout that transient window of alternative, many freelancers struggled to attach with banks overwhelmed with candidates from bigger companies and new guidelines requiring the completion of a 2019 Type 1040, Schedule C, which many people have but to finish because of the extension of the IRS’ submitting deadline.

Over the previous 10 days, over 2600 freelancers within the business have joined the coalition’s on-line seminars on PPP, with many frightened by the problem of acquiring entry to this monetary assist from the federal authorities.

“A big variety of unbiased media makers and documentary filmmakers function as freelancers,” stated Simon Kilmurry, government director of the Worldwide Documentary Affiliation. “We now have heard from hundreds of these makers that their companies have been shut down and that they’ve been shut out of the preliminary spherical of PPP. It’s crucial that any new federal support beneath PPP prioritize freelancers.”

Based on the coalition, 57 million freelancers make up the nation’s workforce and contribute an estimated $1 trillion to its GDP.

Signatories embrace Movie Unbiased, the Documentary Producers Alliance, Sundance Institute, the Worldwide Documentary Affiliation, the Producers Guild and the Tribeca Movie Institute.

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