Society

Salma Hayek, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón set up fund to aid film workers in Mexico

Sifonóforo is an Audiovisual Emergency Fund to support movie-industry workers without income during the pandemic

  • According to the Mexican Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences more than 30,000 families of movie-industry workers have lost their source of income;
  • Each beneficiary will get a one-time payment of about $880.

Oscar-winning Mexican film directors Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu joined forces with Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek to set up Sifonóforo, an Audiovisual Emergency Fund created in an effort to support movie-industry workers in their native country.

The Mexican Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences (AMACC) announced the fund on Thursday, and according to it more than 30,000 families have lost their source of income. “Our most vulnerable collaborators cannot continue waiting,” says the statement on the AMACC’s website.

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González Iñárritu spoke via video call on the initiative’s launch: “Those of us who make films are a fragile tribe, with many people who carry out ordinary jobs that are, in turn, extraordinary in their specificity and the years of preparation it takes to learn them. This pause that we are experiencing endangers this tribe of gypsies who are all of us who make cinema”. 

The fund has raised about $440,000 so far, and more donations are expected. Each beneficiary will get a one-time payment of about $880, informs the Associated Press. The money will go first to technical workers like set, costume, sound and visual employees left without work after most productions stopped filming amid the pandemic. First in line will be those with health problems or upon whose income their households rely.

La Corriente del Golfo, a company founded by actors Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, also contributed to the fund, as did many other Mexican and international production companies. Government and industry leaders have not announced any date for resuming production.