Sky has launched an initiative aimed at supporting diverse-owned and diverse-led independent production companies in developing programmes for its factual channels.

Sky is inviting companies to apply for a chance to access a minimum of £15,000 towards enhancing their development slate, with ideas directed at Sky Documentaries. The strongest of ideas going on to a fully funded development.

Sky’s goal is to widen the playing field, ensuring they hear from a diverse range of voices as they pursue boxsets and premium feature documentaries. Through that diversity, Sky aims to bring its audiences a variety of entertaining, immersive, and culturally relevant factual programmes.

Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries & Factual, Sky said “I’m thrilled to introduce our initiative supporting diverse-owned production companies. Sky is committed to fostering inclusivity in the industry. This opportunity is about more than financial support, it is a commitment to mentorship and ongoing dialogue, with the goal of ensuring underrepresented voices stand out on Sky Documentaries.”

Criteria for participation includes being diverse-owned or diverse-led, with founders, owners, or senior management creatives (e.g. Creative Director, Managing Director) who are members of ethnic minorities, deaf, disabled, and/or neurodivergent.

The three successful companies selected will receive financial support and will have a six-month collaboration with the Sky Documentaries team. This period includes dedicated monthly pitch sessions with a commissioning team member, providing feedback and guidance to shape the development process.

Sky aims to tailor the support offered, whether through additional time with an experienced freelance Executive Producer or Development Executive, or funds to bring in additional resources like access producers, writers, or taster editors.

Pippa Considine

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