Channel 4 today revealed the details of 12 indies from across the UK which will benefit from its Emerging Indie Fund and another eight companies which will receive special awards.
The fund is specifically designed to help emerging indies outside of London break through key stages of growth. The main awardees include one company that had previously received a Discretionary Award, and eleven new companies from across the UK, including all four Nations. Such was the quality of applications discretionary awards are also being given to an extra eight independent production companies.
The fund, which was first launched a year ago, provides financial assistance to indies for slate development and offers direct access to a Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, and expert advice from a variety of departments within Channel 4 including commercial affairs, legal and ad funded programming teams.
Channel 4’s Director of Commissioning Operations Emma Hardy said: “Channel 4 is committed to nurturing indies across the Nations and Regions and helping them become thriving sustainable companies, and this year we have increased our commitment by creating additional places on the Fund. Our awardees are based all across the UK, and we are delighted to be working with such a diverse and creatively exciting set of indies.”
Independent production companies which successfully applied to be part of this year’s Emerging Indie Fund are: Angel Eye Media (Bristol); Below the Radar TV (Belfast); Black Camel Pictures (Glasgow); Crash Productions (Cardiff); Fabel Productions (Belfast); Hatchling Films (Manchester); Full Fat TV (Birmingham); Honey Bee Media (Bristol/Surrey); Postcard Productions (Wales); Springboard (Birmingham); Title Role Productions (Manchester); and Zandland (Liverpool/Burnley).
Channel 4’s Head of Indie Relations Rebecca Thompson said: “Awardees receive a development slate award and will have regular meetings with Commissioning Editors, as well as benefiting from support from the wider Commissioning team and other departments, with guidance on how indies can secure commissions, develop slates, plan their commercial affairs and explore new revenue streams. This combination of support can be hugely effective in helping emerging companies to grow, and we saw the impact of this in last year’s awardees, many of whom went on to secure first commissions with the channel.”
Springboard Pictures co-founder Harshad Mistry said: “We are really delighted to be selected as one of Channel 4’s Emerging Indies. It’s a fantastic way to build our network with other indies across the Nations & Regions, who we’d like to collaborate with, particularly in the West Midlands. 2022 is an exciting time for us with the Commonwealth Games and also the creative hub and studio being created in my home town of Birmingham.
“We’re very much looking forward to working with Channel 4 and it’s a terrific confidence boost for us as we go into the New Year. The best creativity comes through collaboration and that is what we hope this award will lead to. This is a big step up the ladder for us."
Kerena Marchant, Director of Eastbourne-based Sondes films which received a discretionary award, said: “As a Deaf-Disabled led production company we hope this will open the door to Deaf and Disabled programme makers, particularly those of colour, who face barriers to the industry and want to work in a Deaf/Disabled empowering environment.”
Due to the high quality and volume of the applications a number of Discretionary Awards were made to Flabbergast TV (Glasgow); Imagenova (Leicester); Art of Truth (Leeds); SLNda (Herne Bay & Loughborough); Sondes Films (Eastbourne); Sea and Sky Pictures (Hartlepool); Bees In The Wood TV (West Cliff on Sea, Essex); and Hall of Mirrors (Cardiff).