Little Bird Films and Boom Cymru are to be the first recipients of the BBC Cymru Wales and Media Cymru BBC Content Innovation Fund.

The fund is for Wales-based independent production companies to R&D innovation-driven content for commission.

Little Bird Films and Boom Cymru have been awarded the first grants to test and implement innovative technologies into their content production.

Little Bird’s project will explore new ways to make specialist factual content and Boom Cymru will test a fully integrated mobile filming rig for factual production.

Adam Partridge, R&D Producer at Media Cymru, says: “The BBC Content Innovation Fund is a unique partnership for Media Cymru, which integrates RD&I into the development process with local producers.

“We were impressed by the breadth of ideas submitted to this fund and the appetite to innovate. This further evidences the strength and ambition of the independent production sector here in Wales – I can’t wait to see the outcome of this unique opportunity.”

Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning at BBC Cymru Wales said: “In a world of infinite choice, it’s never been more important to be at the sharp end of innovation. This fund releases a creative spirit which will help to develop genre defining content, that has ambition and impact not just in Wales, but across the globe.  We’re delighted to be working with Media Cymru and have already seen exciting prospects in development”

Little Bird Films’ work includes S4C’s Symud i Gymru and Cheer am Byth, BBC’s Blood Sweat And Cheer and Channel 4’s How To Make It On Only Fans.

Little Bird will use the Media Cymru R&D phase to explore innovative new ways of making compelling specialist factual content using ground-breaking technology.

Louise Bray, Co-founder of Little Bird Films, said: “The BBC Content Innovation Fund provides us with a unique opportunity to develop ideas based on innovative technology that’s never before been seen on screen. The R&D phase allows us to thoroughly interrogate the technology from a TV perspective, allowing us to explore and develop potential content on a global scale. We’re incredibly excited and grateful to be given this fantastic opportunity.”

Boom Cymru’s Content Innovation Fund project, Access All Areas, will test a fully integrated mobile filming rig for factual production which will allow them to shoot an entire event using remote technologies. Through the project, they will R&D a cutting-edge technological system which will put the viewers at the heart of the action.

Nia Thomas, Managing Director at Boom Cymru said: “At Boom, we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways of telling stories and finding fresh, exciting ways of accessing the most extraordinary people and places.

“The Content Innovation Fund offers us the opportunity to explore where the next revolution in programme-making may be found, and we are delighted to be working with Media Cymru and the BBC on this project.”

The R&D phase of both projects is already underway and will take three to six months. The commissioning process will begin in the summer of 2023.

Jon Creamer

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