Disney+ UK has teamed with Northern Ireland Screen on a new development fund for NI Indies.

The development fund will be awarded to up to five successful Northern Ireland based indies. The recipients will also receive one-on-one creative sessions with Sean Doyle, Director, Unscripted, Disney+ EMEA, for a period of development up to 12 months.

The brief is for female-skewed, factual single films with a Northern Irish, Irish or British subject matter.

Doyle said: “This is an exciting opportunity, not only for the globally recognised creative talent coming out of Northern Ireland, but also for Disney+ to continue developing bold, local stories across unscripted with outstanding creators and producers in local markets.”

The aim of the collaboration between Disney+ UK and Northern Ireland Screen are to create more opportunities for NI talent – both established and emerging – to advance their careers in the television sectors and to “build strong relationships between the Disney+ EMEA commissioning team and the television production sector in Northern Ireland.”

The collaboration is part of the commitment from Disney+ to source, develop and produce local original productions in Europe. UK Originals already on the streamer include Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story, Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story, Finding Michael, Save Our Squad with David Beckham, Culprits, The Full Monty and Extraordinary.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen added; “We are delighted to launch this exciting new collaboration with Disney+. Funds like this are vital to the development of our screen industry. Northern Ireland boasts an abundance of creative talent, and this initiative not only aims to strengthen the bonds between Northern Ireland indies and Disney+ commissioners but also promises to yield some brilliant new content. Ultimately, it’s the viewers across the UK who will reap the benefits.”

More information on how to submit pitches will be published on the Northern Ireland Screen website along with Terms & Conditions and the submission deadline on December 1.

Jon Creamer

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