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C5 announces BAME partner indies

Viacom-owned UK terrestrial Channel 5 has partnered with nine BAME-owned indie production studios in order to create more opportunities for minorities within the industry.

Ben Frow

The indie studios involved in the partnership are based in Northern Ireland, Yorkshire, Manchester, West Midlands, Sussex and London, and will work alongside Channel 5’s commissioning team, who will guide them in the development of new projects.

The initiative was unveiled earlier this year in collaboration with diversity campaign group The TV Collective.

The nine companies involved in the partnership are Belfast-based Afro Mic; Yorkshire’s Heenahm Bhatti and Meridian Line Films; Big Deal, Chatterbox and Doc Hearts in London; Ten66 from Hastings; Manchester-based King of Sunshine; and Chapter 1 Film in the West Midlands.

Ben Frow, Channel 5 director of programmes, said: “We are passionate about working with hungry, creative and enthusiastic small independents who offer a new perspective, whilst being tuned into our channel and audience needs.

“This important scheme, brilliantly engineered by Simone Pennant from The TV Collective, offers business opportunities to nine talented production companies across the UK, many of which are start-ups. In broadening our creative influence, our ambition is to see new mainstream commissioned programmes in the peaktime schedule.”

The initiative follows the success of C5’s small regionals initiative last year, which encouraged commissioning bodies to support two prodcos from the regions to get their projects on screen. The project resulted in nearly £4m (US$4.92m) of commissions and 35 hours of new content.


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