Salma Hayek, Oscar-winning Mexican directors start fund for movie industry people out of work due to COVID-19

Salma Hayek and Oscar-winning directors Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu announced they're setting up a fund to support movie industry people who are out-of-work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mexican Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences announced the fund Thursday in a video call in which González Iñárritu spoke about the decision to start the fund.

“This was an act of solidarity with our colleagues in this industry, without asking anybody else besides ourselves,” González Iñárritu said.

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Salma Hayek joined prominent Mexican directors in starting a fund for out-of-work movie industry workers.

Salma Hayek joined prominent Mexican directors in starting a fund for out-of-work movie industry workers. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

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 from health problems and are sole breadwinners.

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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.

Alejandro González Iñárritu spoke during a video call announcing a new fund for out-of-work film employees.

Alejandro González Iñárritu spoke during a video call announcing a new fund for out-of-work film employees. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)

The Academy estimates that about 30,000 movie production workers have lost their incomes as a result of the industry shut-down.

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The government and industry leaders have not announced any date for resuming production. However, several movies and TV productions are already discussing ways to return to work safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.