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netribution > features > interview with ctbf > page one
iThe Cinema And Television Benevolent Fund was another Production Show source, I admit they charmed me! After grabbing my attention in such an underhand way there was really very little I could do but be fascinated by their organisation. Sandra Bradley & Hillary Chadwick deal with the appeals and PR for this extraordinarily benevolent charity/fund that has been going since 1924 (that’s before the dawn of sound for pity's sake!). You’ve got a grandad or an uncle who inspired you to make movies, he used to tell you stories of the ‘good ole days at Pinewood and Ealing’, he’s on a state pension and life isn’t too glamourous. He is entitled to aid from these people and he doesn’t know it. More drastically now. Say, for example, you are a boom operator negotiating a particularly awkward angle over a rockery. You stretch for that extra inch, balanced on one foot and forever conscious of remaining out of frame, some bloody fool cranks up the wind machine, you slip....... (cue the sound of metal and bone married)These charming ladies will have made sure that you'd heard of the CTBF who will now help with the cost of removing the boom from, and repairing the damage to, that vital orifice. You do not have to be a member and they will help you regardless of whether you’ve ever reached into your pocket or not. Lovely, lovely people that need our money to continue the work that you’d normally pay life/home insurance for. If you read this, spread the word to your boss, colleagues or employees because, I only came across them by chance.

| by tom fogg |
| photos by tom fogg|
| in london |

(Their details are listed at the end of the interview.)

Tell us about The Cinema And Television Benevolent Fund.
Hilary - We’re the trade charity for the film and commercial television industry which means that anyone who has worked within those industries for a minimum of two years can come to us for financial or practical assistance. For example, if they are made redundant or have an accident or work, become ill or unemployed for any reason, they can come to us for help until they can support themselves again. As we are a charity there is no cost to the individual, it's not an insurance service, it's completely free and we don't ask for anything back.

How long has this been going?
Since 1924, although then it was just the budding British film industry, the commercial TV companies (all 5 of them!) only joined us in 1964.Sandra - A lot of people were moving over from film into this new technological era and initially found it only represented the film and cinema industry.

How are you funded?
Were funded by the trade companies and we try to encourage people to donate annually. We used to receive an annual donation from the ITVA but and that has now stopped and our main source is fund-raising events like The London Party, The Grand Draw and The Royal Film Performance.

How many do you do a year?
Five in London but we have regional committees that organise their own, smaller scale events to help fund themselves. Fund-raising is very difficult at the moment, while we are making record net profits from the events, our annual welfare expenditure has risen considerably in line with the number of people coming to us for assistance. Also, that assistance has changed a great deal in the last 10 years, the potential beneficiaries are invariably in larger financial debt now or have bigger health problems. We've been very happy with the amount of money we’ve been making from fund raising events for example, our Star Wars premiere last year made a record £280,000 profit. Many thanks to Fox for bringing in all the stars and covering all the expenses but, at the same time we are spending £360,000 a-year on running the fund's home so we are hardly covering our maintenance costs.

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