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Sky Documentaries announces £500,000 fund for documentary shorts

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Sky Documentaries, the home of world-class, real-life stories from award-winning and emerging filmmakers, has today launched its first documentary shorts fund in partnership with APX Content Ventures (a centralized global practice within Publicis Media) to champion directors from underrepresented backgrounds.

The Sky Documentaries shorts initiative will provide up to £500,000 to fund several documentary shorts, with a runtime of 10-30 minutes. The initiative will support creative talent from underrepresented minorities who face barriers to opportunities due to physical and mental health or disability, and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic or traveller communities. This new program will invest in and spotlight a new wave of UK filmmaking talent, ensuring a clear and accessible pathway for emerging directors interested in creating distinctive and quality shorts, as a steppingstone to creating longer form content.

Entries should be artistically ambitious, whether an intimate biography, intriguing sporting history, a jaw-dropping crime mystery, a reflection on major global events that resonate universally or can be inspired by something altogether different and extraordinary. Commissioners will be looking for filmmakers who will craft shorts that prioritise the story, are specific, engaging and driven by a clear original vision.

APX Content Ventures have invested in the initiative, which includes covering the costs associated with production process for the successful candidates.

Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual commented: “Since the launch of Sky Documentaries, the award-winning channel has built a reputation for working with the best UK factual talent, to bring original and premium limited series and features to our discerning audience. As we build on this success, we are pleased to launch our first documentary shorts fund to support creative voices from underrepresented groups around the country. We want to meet talent we don’t yet know and hear creatively ambitious ideas, so please get in touch!”

Katie West, Head of Content, APX Content Ventures UK (Publicis Media), said: “We are very excited to see our investment help this important programme come to fruition. We believe diverse voices are a critical part of the success of the TV and film industry, so we are committed to funding and facilitating opportunities for underrepresented voices to be heard. We can’t wait to see what applicants produce with this new shorts fund in partnership with Sky Documentaries.”

To apply, applicants should visit the dedicated website and fill in the application form, attach a CV and a written treatment of their idea with a creative outline no longer than two pages. Submitting tape is not required but will be considered if attached. Applicants must be a UK resident to apply and only one application per person will be accepted. Entries for the initial round of funding will be open from today until midnight, Sunday 17th July. The Sky Documentaries shorts initiative will be accessible throughout the year and further opportunities to apply for the fund will be announced in the autumn.

The documentaries shorts fund is part of Sky’s ongoing support for developing emerging talent which includes The Screenwriters’ Fellowship in collaboration with Netflix and Bisha K. Ali and Sky Studios and Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s comedy writing programme.

For media enquiries please contact: hephzibah.kwakyesaka@sky.uk / patricia.deveer@sky.uk

Notes to editors

Further information on the application form:

https://docshorts.sky.com/

Do you have a passion and determination to tell fresh and thought-provoking stories? Do you have industry experience as a producer, assistant producer, editor, or director but have not yet directed a terrestrial or SVOD hour? If so, we want you to apply! We will partner the winning talent and projects with experienced factual producers who will provide mentorship and production support throughout the process.

The brief is simple – bring us your best story. The short should be artistically ambitious, whether you’re telling an intimate biography, an intriguing sporting history, or a jaw- dropping crime mystery. Your film may reflect on major global events that resonate universally or be inspired by something altogether different and extraordinary. We are looking for filmmakers who will craft shorts that prioritise the story, are specific, engaging and driven by a clear original vision.