Channel 4 and Motion Content Group launch Fund for ethnically diverse-led indies

Channel 4 and Motion Content Group have launched a multi-million pound fund to boost commissions from small and medium sized ethnically diverse-led production companies.

The Channel 4 and Motion Content Group Diverse Indies Fund will be editorially overseen by Channel 4 Senior Commissioning Editor Vivienne Molokwu. For Motion Content Group (part of GroupM, WPP’s media investment group), the fund will be managed by Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Deep Sehgal.

The new and dedicated fund is designed to support ethnically diverse-led companies and is about backing and bringing to life fantastic ideas from creative leaders who are from diverse ethnic groups.

Channel 4 and Motion want ideas for this new investment to be creatively exciting, entertaining and returnable.

Last year Channel 4 committed to tripling its spend with ethnically diverse-led indies by the end of 2023, and pledged that every commissioning editor will have at least one ethnically diverse-led indie on their development slate. It made these commitments as part of the legacy of its ground breaking Black to Front Project, pledging to deliver a lasting step change in diverse representation both on and off screen.

Vivienne Molokwu said “At Channel 4 we recognise that spend is what makes the difference to indies and if we want to meaningfully diversify our suppliers, we have to supercharge increasing the hours commissioned with ethnically diverse-led indies.

“Although we already work closely with a number of eligible indies and have already become the first broadcaster to ring-fence commissioning spend for ethnically diverse-led indies, by working with Motion Content Group we increase the opportunity for returnable, commercial formats further reflecting our genuine commitment made as part of the Black to Front Project to significant, lasting change.”

Deep Sehgal from Motion said: “Our aim is to help create a sustainable pipeline of diverse production talent – and we’re bringing that to life with substantial, long-term investment. Motion continues to work with some of the most successful independent producers in the country, and we are passionate about lending that expertise to enabling and supporting more diverse voices.”

A creative brief is live now on 4Producers and eligible indies* will be encouraged to pitch ideas in the usual way, through commissioning editors and Heads of Department, with commissioning rounds spread throughout the year.

The Channel 4 Creative Diversity Team, headed up Naomi Sesay, will be on hand to support production companies.

The fund is part of Channel 4’s overarching commitment to accelerate diversity and inclusion in the TV landscape, and is a proportion of Channel 4’s ringfenced spend with ethnically diverse-led indies.

Motion’s partnership with Channel 4 to create this fund supports GroupM and WPP’s bold ambition to help drive systemic change and improve diversity and inclusion across the industry.

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