Proposals sought from Scottish indies for new Sky documentary initiative

Screen Scotland and Sky have announced a new strategic development initiative to broaden Sky’s supplier base in Scotland for documentary series and films.

Sky Documentaries and Screen Scotland, with support from The National Lottery, will contribute £50,000 each towards the joint initiative to increase Scottish content on the network.

Sky is seeking proposals for narrative-led feature documentaries and limited series which tell a compelling story with a strong creative vision. These can include ideas covering a vast range of subjects – crime, scandal, politics, biography, sport, definitive takes on newsworthy events, stranger-than-fiction stories – but not limited to these. Proposals are not currently sought for current affairs, presenter-led or constructed documentaries. Diversity is strongly encouraged as part of any proposal, both in front and behind the camera.

Submissions are open until Monday 21 December 2020, 6pm with shortlisting to follow in January. A minimum of six Scottish production companies will be invited to pitch development ideas to Sky Commissioning Executives with a minimum of four of these companies progressing to a period of paid development. Final funding award amounts will be project dependent.

Interested production companies can find more information here: www.screen.scot/sky-documentaries

Glasgow-based training provider TRC will host a Creative Zoom with Sky’s Director of Documentaries & Factual, Poppy Dixon, and Screen Scotland’s Head of Unscripted, Dani Carlaw, to discuss the new initiative and answer questions directly from Scottish indies. The event will take place online on Friday 27 November at 12pm. Companies can register their interest in attending here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/L5XC7CS

Dani Carlaw, Head of Unscripted at Screen Scotland said: “This is a tremendous joint initiative to support Scottish production companies in honing their creativity, for a potential new market opportunity. Opening up relationships with Poppy and her team and bringing fresh stories to Sky is very exciting, and we look forward to seeing the projects and ideas that come from Scotland’s growing documentary talent base.”

Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries & Factual at Sky said: “Sky Documentaries is dedicated to championing premium documentary storytelling. I am excited to support Scotland-based talent through this joint development fund and to build on our relationships with the nation’s filmmakers and indies.”

Background

This initiative is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships between Screen Scotland and broadcasters which aim to develop and strengthen creative and producing talent based in Scotland by increasing the number of companies and projects securing investment from broadcasters:

  • BBC Scotland - In February 2019, Screen Scotland signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BBC Scotland to build a sustainable television industry in Scotland and to improve the on-air representation and portrayal of Scotland and its people. Since last year some of the initiatives resulting from the MOU have included: BBC Scotland Comedy Pilots which saw three comedy pilots air on BBC Scotland in early 2020 and a new project also involving BBC Three is providing opportunities for Scottish production companies to pitch ideas for a four-part series commission targeted at 16-24 year olds.
  • Channel 4 - In October 2020, Screen Scotland and Channel 4 Daytime announced a call for proposals from Scottish production companies for a new joint daytime initiative designed to support the development of creative output from independent production companies based in Scotland. In October 2020, Screen Scotland and Channel 4 Factual announced a call for proposals from Scottish production companies to pitch content ideas to Channel 4’s Factual team for the coveted 9pm slot.

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Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. Sitting within Creative Scotland, it is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. With funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support.

Media Contact

Eilidh Walker

Media Relations and PR Officer-Screen

M: +447545 402 064