The BBC has unveiled the 50 indies it is supporting through the second phase of its £1m Small Indie Fund, after steering the first wave of producers to 46 commissions.
Three-quarters of this year’s intake are based in the nations and regions, while half have diverse leadership. The cohort includes Northern Ireland’s Afro-Mic Productions, Manchester entertainment indie King of Sunshine and London-based Milk and Honey Productions.
Each of the sub-£10m indies will receive strategic investment, a BBC commissioning editor mentor and a development deal to help them grow.
The BBC doubled its planned investment for the 2020/2021 crop, supporting 96 companies, including Leeds drama indie Duck Soup Films, Bristol’s Uplands TV and Scottish factual producer Firecrest Films, with £2m to help alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many of those indies continue to be supported in this second year. Afro-Mic, for example, was supported by the factual commissioning team last year, leading to the commission of its 10 x 30-part series Made Up in Belfast, and is now working with entertainment commissioners.
Milk and Honey is set to follow up its 3 x 60-minute series Black Art Matters with a four-part series made by three new black directors, two of whom are making their first 60-minute BBC2 doc. The commission was secured by a development exec hired through support from the fund.Other indies winning commissions have included Cardiff Productions, which made BBC2 shows Black Voices and Beauty and the Bleach, Derry-based Alleycats, which makes BBC3 series The Fast and the Farmer (ish) [main picture] and Fully Focused, the indie behind BBC3 comedy PRU.
This year's recipients of the Small Indies Fund:
Walk on Air
Oxford Films (Scotland base)
Two Rivers Media
Bohemia Film - SW
Button Down - Yorkshire
Clockwork Films - Leeds
Comedy Hothouse – North East
Cornered Tiger- Midlands
Daddy's SuperYacht - North East/London
Factual Fiction - Yorkshire
Indefinite Films - Bristol
King of Sunshine - Manchester
Middle Child – North East base
Ossian/Enchanted Isle – Scotland/NE
Peggy Pictures - Manchester
Portopia - Midlands
Rockerdale Studios - North
Saffron Cherry - Manchester
Spark Media - Suffolk
Super Best Quality Video - Bristol
The Connected Set - Brighton
TwentySix03- North East base
Milk and Honey