Channel 4 launches BAME Indie Accelerator

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Leeds-headquartered Channel 4 has launched its BAME-led Indie Accelerator in a two-year partnership with The TV Collective.

The broadcaster will run the initiative twice over the next two years as part of a long-term strategic plan to support more BAME-led production companies.

In the first round, the initiative will identify 10 BAME-led production companies to work closely with Channel 4 Commissioning Heads of Department for unscripted genres.

The aim is to progress them towards winning more commissions for the channel. Channel 4 recently announced a new commitment to double the number of BAME-led independent producers that it commissions by 2023. 

Indies selected from the BAME-led Indie Accelerator will benefit from: 

Financial support: There will be development money put aside to help work on ideas plus additional funds from the channel’s Creative Diversity budget.

Idea development: Production companies will benefit from idea development consultancy, commercial strategies mentoring, and support of their slate provided by a Channel 4 Commissioning Head of Department - alongside a bespoke plan to accelerate ideas and convert them to commissions across the channel’s portfolio.

Access and support: Indies will gain an enhanced understanding of Channel 4 through unprecedented access and support from the channel’s senior leadership and key departments on how to develop ideas that have the greatest chance of success.

Expanded contacts: Lasting relationships will be formed as they are networked across the channel and armed with insights to support future growth and success.  This will include regular face to face meetings, financial support as required and tailored advice and mentoring.

Access to creative talent network: To assist with advice on recruitment and access to talent pools.

Involvement of Director of Programmes: Ideas will be prioritised for review by Ian Katz, Director of Programmes

Producers interested in the accelerator will have opportunities to join briefing sessions on 16th July, introduced by Kelly Webb-Lamb, Deputy Director of Programmes at Channel 4.  

Babita Bahal, Head of Creative Diversity at Channel 4 said: “This two-year partnership with The TV Collective is an important long-term commitment. This is not a one-off initiative, it is about establishing business relationships with new production partners. 

“We want to work with producers who bring bold ideas with mainstream appeal, and greater breadth of voices and stories to the channel.  We know that by supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic producers we effectively support more underrepresented talent across the industry.

“And we want that support to be ongoing for more companies, over a sustained period to drive meaningful change.  We want to do more and move quickly to find producers that will really benefit from the bespoke access and development on offer.”