Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19 to Reinforce Artistic Efforts in Critical Content Creation Communities
Sony Electronics Inc. today announced that Sony Corporation will be making several donations to leading organizations in the production industry. The fund is designed to help mitigate disruption of the creative community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding for this worldwide program will be provided by the "Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19," which was established in April 2020 to help those affected by the pandemic. Funds will be contributed globally to various organizations in North America, Europe and Japan and will also be used at a regional level to support Sony's Imaging PRO Support program.
The donations will be used by recipient organizations to help ease the financial hardships affecting industry creators, including cinematographers, camera operators, camera assistants, digital imaging technicians and many others who create media for sports, movies and episodic content. The communities that will be receiving financial support in North America include:
• The Sports Video Group, founded in 2006, is an international association for sports-television professionals with the mission to advance the creation, production and distribution of sports content. As producer of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and 12 other industry events, as well as numerous media properties and industry initiatives, the organization represents a membership of more than 4,000 active participants in the creation of sports content for TV, the Internet, mobile devices and in-venue distribution.
In 2012, Sports Video Group created the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund, the sports industry's first charity fund dedicated to providing assistance to industry professionals and their families in need. Since its inception, the Fund has assisted hundreds of sports production professionals who have found themselves unable to work due to injury, illness or disaster. The money Sony is contributing to the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund will help offset medical expenses for members of the community who have been impacted by COVID-19.
• International Cinematographers Guild – I.A.T.S.E. (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) Local 600 represents approximately 9,000 members who work in film, television and commercials as directors of photography, camera operators, digital imaging technicians, visual effects supervisors, still photographers, camera assistants, film loaders, all members of camera crews and publicists. The first cinematographers' union was established in New York in 1926, followed by unions in Los Angeles and Chicago, but it wasn't until 1996 that Local 600 was born as a national guild. ICG's ongoing activities include the Emerging Cinematographer Awards and the Publicists Awards Luncheon. The guild also publishes the award-winning ICG Magazine.
• International Cinematographers Guild – I.A.T.S.E. Local 667, Local 669 and Local 671 in Canada represent camera professionals and unit publicists who work in all phases of motion picture productions filmed or electronically recorded for theatrical feature films, films for television, television series, commercials, documentaries, Internet productions and corporate video productions, as well as working at live events.
• The American Society of Cinematographers was founded in Hollywood in 1919 with the purpose of advancing the art and science of cinematography and bringing cinematographers together to exchange ideas, discuss techniques and promote the motion picture as an art form.
• The Canadian Society of Cinematographers is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1957. Its purpose is to foster the art and craft of cinematography and imaging professionals at all levels. CSC members are involved in the production of feature films, documentaries, television series, specials and commercials. The Society is administered by volunteers and strives to reflect the diverse character of its membership. Its mandate supports a full agenda of training, education, mentorship and the dissemination of the latest in technical and product information.
Globally, Sony will also invest in financial assistance for Sports Video Group Europe, IMAGO and Japan Society of Cinematographers in Japan.
"In these challenging times, we are eternally grateful to healthcare workers, essential workers and others on the frontline of combating this pandemic and supporting the essential needs of our society," said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics Inc. "Content creators are the critical backbone of the entertainment ecosystem, and Sony's business' success is tied very closely to their well-being and success. We are gratified to lend Sony's support to organizations enabling creators to continue their artistic expression, and we look forward to seeing the results of our shared collaboration."
"The ASC is immensely grateful for Sony's donation, coming at a time when cinematographers and the entire film-making community are under such pressure from the pandemic," said Terry McCarthy, CEO of the American Society of Cinematographers. "The funds will help us to produce an online video series about cinematographic topics, provide employment to those directly involved, and help a broader audience learn about the principles of cinematography."
"I want to thank Sony for their significant donation to the Local 600 Hardship Fund, which is administered by The Actors Fund, to provide aid to so many of our members who have suffered financially during our industry's shutdown," said John Lindley, ASC, president of the International Cinematographers Guild – I.A.T.S.E. Local 600. "Behind the corporate logo, there are individuals whose desire to lend our members a hand is inspiring and brings us all closer together. Sony's unwavering support of our craft during a period of dramatic technological changes has now been matched by their generosity, and I look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship as our members get back to work."
"The International Cinematographers Guild is thrilled that Sony Electronics is giving back to the film and television industry in Canada," said David Rumley, business representative, International Cinematographers Guild – Locals 667 and 671. "Their generous donation to The AFC (formerly The Actors' Fund of Canada) will help many members of our community. With film production shut down across Canada, The AFC has been a crucial lifeline for workers that need immediate assistance." Michelle Yardley, president of Local 669, added, "Since March 14th, The AFC has distributed more than $800,000 to film workers and continues to provide emergency funds. The need has never been greater, as this amount is four times its normal yearly disbursement. Local 667, Local 671, and Local 669 have continued our support of The AFC in this trying time, and we thank Sony Electronics for stepping up and making a difference."
"We would like to thank Sony for its overwhelming support of sports production professionals who are facing tough times due to the Coronavirus pandemic," said Ken Aagaard, chairman, SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund. "Sony's generosity points to the strong bonds that unite our industry during times of crisis and can help those in need. With Sony's support, we will be able to make a difference for sports production professionals and their families who find themselves challenged in unprecedented ways."