Work in the film industry? Tell us how coronavirus has affected you

Releases are being cancelled, shoots scrapped and ticket sales are in free fall. But what’s the human cost? We want to hear from people on the frontline of the industry

Coronavirus and culture – a list of major cancellations

It’s becoming increasingly clear that most sectors have not faced a crisis in modern times remotely on the scale of coronavirus. The threat it poses to most businesses, the people employed by them and the economies propped up by them, it hard to underestimate.

Film is no exception. Already, the impact of widespread cinema closures around the globe, combined with endless release and event postponements or cancellations, as well as production mayhem, is estimated to cost the industry more than $20bn. Given that this figure was $5bn a week before, it seems safe to assume it’s at the conservative end.

We want to hear from people within the industry about how it’s affecting them. From film-makers, cast and crew whose movie was in production or perhaps all set to premiere at SXSW but which may now struggle to see the light of day.

From people in streaming services, about how inundated with offers they currently are, and from producers, studios and distributors weighing up the pros and cons of going digital only, pushing back, or clinging on to the original schedule in case things miraculously improve. From festival programmers trying to decide how best to proceed.

From freelance composers and accent coaches, from caterers and cinematographers, film certificate classifiers, personal publicists and poster designers.

We also want to hear from people on the frontline: from ushers and managers of multiplexes and indies, from concession stall owners, cleaners and people working at screening rooms.

This doesn’t begin to cover the people affected. So, if you’re one of them, please get in touch and let us know your story and how best we should be covering the place of cinema in this crisis. Drop an email to and


Update on 19 March: We have been absolutely overwhelmed by both the number and severity of responses, and are very grateful to those who have taken the time to get in touch.

We have now launched an extended online version of our F&M cover about this situation which gathers together a selection of testimonies. Comments are currently open.

Please feel free to continue to get in touch and tell us your stories, but be advised the piece we had in mind when writing this callout has now gone to press. We are of course always open to other stories and suggestions for coverage during this difficult time. Thanks.


Catherine Shoard

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Cinema audiences drop dramatically as coronavirus restrictions bite
Box-office revenue in North America falls to its lowest level in two decades as cinemas adopt social distancing measures

Andrew Pulver

16, Mar, 2020 @12:07 PM

Article image
Cinemas across the UK to shut in response to coronavirus
Major chains including Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse to go dark

Andrew Pulver

17, Mar, 2020 @10:54 AM

Article image
Cannes film festival postpones 2020 edition over coronavirus restrictions
France’s premier event will not go ahead in its traditional May slot after government measures forced its hand

Andrew Pulver

19, Mar, 2020 @7:23 PM

Article image
The Invisible Man, Emma and other movies to stream early as cinemas close
Universal films including The Hunt will shift to on-demand this week as chains shutter to prevent spread of coronavirus

Adrian Horton

16, Mar, 2020 @7:41 PM

Article image
Chinese film director Chang Kai and family die from coronavirus
Four members of same family die during self-quarantine at centre of outbreak in Wuhan

Emma Graham-Harrison

18, Feb, 2020 @8:35 PM

Article image
Tear up the economic rule book. This pandemic calls for radical intervention | Ed Miliband
Coronavirus is a grave threat to the economy and the lives of millions – a new benefit payment for all affected workers should be just the start, says Labour MP Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

17, Mar, 2020 @2:01 PM

Article image
China's coronavirus outbreak leaves foreign nationals in limbo
Travel restrictions leave many stranded, while those with flights booked await refunds

Aamna Mohdin and Laith Al-Khalaf

20, Feb, 2020 @11:38 AM

Article image
Fauci review – laudatory but lenient portrait of the US vaccine czar
Anthony Fauci’s firmness in the face of Trump’s anti-scientific stance is rightly celebrated, but this documentary doesn’t fully examine his record on Aids

Peter Bradshaw

16, Sep, 2021 @12:00 PM

Article image
The First Wave review – Covid’s devastating early days in New York
Matthew Heineman’s powerful documentary captures the most acute weeks of the crisis as a Long Island hospital struggles to cope

Cath Clarke

23, Nov, 2021 @2:00 PM

Article image
I am a paramedic working for NHS test and trace but I've yet to make a single call
I am being paid to sit and refresh my computer screen every 15 minutes. The ‘world-beating’ system is a shambles

As told to Sarah Johnson

02, Jul, 2020 @11:05 AM