British indies including Left Bank, Eleven Film and Blueprint Pictures are the focus of a new off-screen diversity fund set up by parent company Sony Pictures Television.
The international media group has teamed up with the BFI to establish the Creative Diversity Fund and will allocate money to offer opportunities for its production companies to work with creative talent from underrepresented backgrounds.
SPT has pledged that the fund will drive authentic storytelling, give creatives their break on commissioned projects and help to make production teams more diverse.
At launch, the fund is paying for an assistant script editor identified through Sex Education producer Eleven Film’s training programme for people of colour, Duly Noted, to work on two projects.
It is also supporting Blueprint TV’s commission of a series treatment for Millennial Hustle, a drama from director and playwright Dipo Baruwa Etti that it will pitch to commissioners. Etti [pictured], who previously recevied a Channel 4 Playwrights Bursary with an attachment with the Almedia Theatre, has separate projects in development with Duck Soup, ITV and Sky.
SPT’s other UK labels - Stellify, Fable Pictures, Eleventh Hour, Stolen Picture and Whisper Films – can also draw on the fund.
Though initially UK-focused, the initiative is part of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s racial equality and inclusion programme Sony Pictures Action. Last year, Sony Corp established a $100m (£72m) social justice fund through SPE sister company Sony Music Group.