Five NI indies chosen for BBC scheme
Five Northern Ireland-based independent production companies have been chosen by BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Factual to take part in a new ‘Hot House’ development initiative, with support from Northern Ireland Screen.
The five-month Hot House development scheme aims to provide local indies with the advice, support and tools to help them compete for BBC network factual commissions and BBC NI/ BBC network co-commissions.
The companies involved were chosen through a competitive selection process, building on existing collaboration between the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen.
Alleycats Films, Below The Radar, DoubleBand Films, Stellify Media and Walk On Air Films have been confirmed as participants on this pilot phase of the Hot House scheme.
Each of these independent production companies will receive £50,000 development funding from the BBC. They will also be able to apply for match-funding from Northern Ireland Screen.
Hot House scheme participants will be invited to present their network television proposals at the end of their five-month development period.
Successful proposals will result in a tv series commission at a minimum of three, hour-long episodes at the full network tariff.
Any company that doesn’t secure a network co-commission will still be guaranteed a series commission for one of their development proposals, to be broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland television, with involvement from a network television commissioner.
Eddie Doyle, head of content Commissioning BBC Northern Ireland, said: “We’ve had some great successes with network co-commissions in recent years, thanks to the talent of the local independent sector here. This series development scheme is a great opportunity for us to build on these recent successes, support the Northern Ireland creative industry and to bring local stories to audiences across the UK through network broadcasts.
"It will also enable Northern Ireland indies to deepen their relationships with network commissioning leads and gain some valuable insights from them. It’s great to have the encouragement and support of BBC network colleagues and Northern Ireland Screen and for us to be working together in this way to develop and showcase locally-based talent and programme-makers.’’
Kate Phillips, director of unscripted, BBC, added: "I’ve seen first-hand the brilliant talent there is in Northern Ireland so I’m really pleased to be working with Eddie and the BBC NI team on this exciting initiative which will help bring a richer breadth of stories to audiences across the UK and provide further opportunities to grow and develop talent."
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