Sony Pictures Television has announced a new Creative Diversity Fund that will run across the company’s International Production group.
SPT, along with an external partner from the BFI, will work with its international production companies to identify, develop and champion talent – in particular writers, producers and directors – from underrepresented backgrounds.
Starting with the UK based production companies in its first year, the Fund aims to create opportunities for individuals by offering additional financial resources to support their engagement on specific projects with SPT companies, encouraging relationships with mentors from across the international production group.
Richard Parsons, Chief Operating Officer, Sony Pictures Television, International Production, says, “We want the Fund to act as ‘direct action’ support to give talented individuals that critical first break on real, live projects. We’re proud that Sony Corporation has contributed generously to charitable bodies worldwide through its $100 million Social Justice Fund; this is a complementary initiative to work from the ground up, using our international production companies to accelerate the careers of a new wave of diverse talent.”
Several projects tied to the Creative Diversity Fund are already underway, including: supporting Blueprint TV’s commission of an original series treatment from writer Dipo Baruwa Etti, which together they will take out to commissioners; as well as supporting the placement across two TV productions of an assistant script editor identified through Eleven Films’ ‘Duly Noted’ training programme for people of colour, launched in November 2020.
Neeta Patel, Director Diversity, Inclusion and Talent International, Sony Pictures Entertainment, says, “The Creative Diversity Fund has been conceived and designed with the aim of supporting authentic storytelling, developing diverse talent, and working toward increasing diversity in production teams. This is one of a host of schemes launched as part of our wider Sony Pictures Action initiatives to enhance the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.”
Jen Smith, Head of Inclusion at the BFI, says: “I am delighted that Sony Pictures Television is taking forward this important work. Making this significant commitment to promoting equality through the fund benefits everyone, the creators and storytellers as well as the future audiences who will enjoy the rich talent coming through”.
Sony Pictures Action, SPE’s global racial equity and inclusion initiative, is focused on providing financial support to external partner organizations dedicated to racial justice and reform, and internally on enhancing and adding to existing Diversity and Inclusion programs.