Sky Injects Significant New Funds Into Production

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Sky has unveiled plans for a major investment in feature-length British films for television. The new productions will be broadcast by Sky from 2013 and form part of Sky’s commitment to increase investment in home-grown programming to £600 million by 2014.

The investment has two distinct strands, according to Sky: new films for family audiences on Sky Movies and new documentary films on Sky Atlantic.

In the first area, Sky says new productions are already in development but that it is also seeking submissions for further projects (funded by a dedicated, six-figure development budget). Its advice to producers is that it will “prioritise projects that appeal to the whole family, with an emphasis on new, cinematographic quality content which matches the scale and ambition of recent home-grown commissions such as Treasure Island and Neverland. Green-lit features will have budgets of around £5m.”

In the second area, Sky Atlantic HD will introduce a new peak time strand in early 2013: “Up to 12 peak time landmark documentaries will form the backbone of the new slate. With the ambition for Sky Atlantic HD to become the home of gold standard documentary films, the brief is going out to the world’s best documentary makers to come to the channel with bold ideas.”

Commenting on the new tranche of funding, Sky’s Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: "We know British programming resonates strongly with our customers so we’ve been building our capability and credibility in this area. We see a real opportunity in British films, where we’ve already invested millions in three feature-length productions with Sir David Attenborough. Now we intend to green light more family films for Sky customers and help more of the best documentary makers to bring the films they most want to make to the screen.”

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