Channel 4 revealed details of its second Indie Accelerator which is specifically aimed at supporting eligible ethnically diverse led indies who have not had a Channel 4 linear commission in the past five years, with a view to helping strengthen their position within the channel and the industry as a whole.
Delivered by The TV Collective, the Indie Accelerator will support selected indies with a combination of leadership coaching and commissioner relationships, with the aim of strengthening their business.
Indies selected to join the accelerator will have one to one executive coaching sessions and they will also be invited to group coaching sessions with indie founder, television producer & format-creator, now top industry coach, Remy Blumenfeld. The Indie Accelerator will also offer a series of online masterclasses hosted by several key industry influencers and decision makers.
To be eligible, indies must have at least 25% of shareholders from an ethnically diverse background. Indies’ turnover must be less than £5m and they must not have had a Channel 4 linear commission in the past five years.
The successful applicants will be aligned with a Channel 4 Commissioning Editor to help them develop their slate of ideas and also help them better understand Channel 4’s commissioning processes.
Channel 4’s Director of Commissioning Operations Emma Hardy said: “We are delighted to be joining forces again with the TV Collective to deliver our Accelerator. A key part of Channel 4’s remit is to champion unheard voices and the Indie Accelerator will seek out ethnically diverse led indies that have not had a Channel 4 linear commission and help them to become more established in the industry.
“The new programme with business coaching and workshops is designed to develop new talent and increase leadership in the industry, elevating ethnically diverse led indies so they are well placed to secure more commissions and become thriving and more sustainable businesses.
“This is an important part of Channel 4’s Manifesto 4 Change which will ensure that The Black To Front Project continues to drive meaningful change in the TV sector.”
The TV Collective founder, Simone Pennant MBE, said: “I am very excited to partner with Channel 4 again on the Indie Accelerator. This important business opportunity supports existing Black, Asian and ethnic minority led companies to better understand the DNA of Channel 4 and grow their businesses.
“It is also an opportunity to introduce the channel to an array of exciting companies who have not worked with the broadcaster before or in the past five years; with the aim of diversifying the channel’s supply chain and the range of stories we see on screen.
“With so many lessons learnt during the first Accelerator, the new iteration of the Indie Accelerator really does illustrate Channel 4’s ongoing commitment to support Black, Asian and ethnic minority led indies – we are proud to partner on this project.”
This is the second iteration of the programme which is part of a two-year partnership with The TV Collective. The initiative has already resulted in commissions from a range of indies which include: Yorkshire Cop: Police, Racism and Me (Milk First) (pictured above); Dream Life for the Same Price (Afro Mic); Museum of Us (Uplands TV); and Jon & Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover (RangaBee).
The Indie Accelerator is part of a long-term Channel 4 strategic plan to support more ethnically diverse led production companies which includes a commitment that each Channel 4 Commissioning Editor should have at least one ethnically diverse led production company on their development slate.
The Black To Front Project launched with a ground-breaking day last September in which Channel 4’s entire programming schedule was fronted by Black talent and contributors across all genres and advertisements, with the aim of amplifying Black voices in TV to reflect the diverse and vibrant culture of the UK. A range of programmes were commissioned as part of Black to Front including Unapologetic, Crazy Rich… (w/t), The Big Breakfast, The Defenders (w/t) and Billionaires’ Paradise.
As a legacy of The Black to Front Project, Channel 4 have issued a manifesto for change which includes commitments to: work more effectively with ethnically diverse led indies; increase diverse senior leadership in the industry; deliver authentic diverse storytelling; and provide real progression for ethnically diverse off-screen talent.