Sky Documentaries launched its first documentary shorts fund to champion directors from underrepresented backgrounds. In partnership with APX Content Ventures (a centralized global practice within Publicis Media), the initiative will provide up to £500,000 to fund several documentary shorts, with a runtime of 10-30 minutes. The idea is to support creative talent from minorities who face barriers to opportunities due to physical and mental health or disability, and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic or traveller communities.
The program will invest in and spotlight a new wave of UK filmmaking talent, ensuring a clear and accessible pathway for emerging directors interested in creating distinctive and quality shorts, as a steppingstone to creating longer form content. APX Content Ventures have invested in the initiative, which includes covering the costs associated with production process for the successful candidates.
“Since the launch of Sky Documentaries, the award-winning channel has built a reputation for working with the best UK factual talent, to bring original and premium limited series and features to our discerning audience. As we build on this success, we are pleased to launch our first documentary shorts fund to support creative voices from underrepresented groups around the country. We want to meet talent we don’t yet know and hear creatively ambitious ideas, so please get in touch!”, said Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual.
The initiative looks for entries artistically ambitious, whether an intimate biography, intriguing sporting history, a jaw-dropping crime mystery, a reflection on major global events that resonate universally or can be inspired by something altogether different and extraordinary. Commissioners will be looking for filmmakers who will craft shorts that prioritise the story, are specific, engaging and driven by a clear original vision.
“We are very excited to see our investment help this important programme come to fruition. We believe diverse voices are a critical part of the success of the TV and film industry, so we are committed to funding and facilitating opportunities for underrepresented voices to be heard. We can’t wait to see what applicants produce with this new shorts fund in partnership with Sky Documentaries”, commented Katie West, Head of Content, APX Content Ventures UK (Publicis Media).
The documentaries shorts fund is part of Sky’s ongoing support for developing emerging talent which includes The Screenwriters' Fellowship in collaboration with Netflix and Bisha K. Ali and Sky Studios and Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s comedy writing programme. The Sky Documentaries shorts initiative will be accessible throughout the year and further opportunities to apply for the fund will be announced in the autumn.
Applicants must be a UK resident to apply and only one application per person will be accepted. Entries for the initial round of funding will be open until midnight, Sunday 17th July. To apply, applicants should visit the website and fill in the application form, attach a CV and a written treatment of their idea with a creative outline no longer than two pages. Submitting tape is not required but will be considered if attached.