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Mexican directors, actress create fund for cinema workers

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Oscar-winning Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu joined actress Salma Hayek to set up a fund to help support movie industry workers out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mexican Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences announced the fund Thursday. González Iñárritu spoke via a video call. “This was an act of solidarity with our colleagues in this industry, without asking anybody else besides ourselves,” González Iñárritu said.

The fund has raised about $440,000 so far, and more donations are expected. Each beneficiary will get a one-time payment of about $885. 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 who are suffering health problems or who are sole breadwinners.

La Corriente del Golfo, a company founded by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, also contributed to the fund, as did many other Mexican and international production companies. The Academy estimates that about 30,000 movie production workers have lost their incomes as a result of the industry shut-down.

The government and industry leaders have not announced any date for resuming production.

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