West Midlands Studio Chapter 1 Films has joined forced with Channel 5 commissioners to develop mainstream ideas and deliver commissions. They are among the nine mall to medium-sized BAME-owned indie production studios to partner with Viacom-owned UK terrestrial Channel 5.

Along with Chapter 1 films in the West Midlands, the studios involved (listed below) will work alongside Channel 5’s commissioning team. The Channel will then guide them in the development of new projects, receiving development money from a dedicated fund.

Selected Indie Production Companies:

Chapter 1 Films (West Midlands)
Chapter 1 Films is brand new indie set up through a partnership with Producer/ Director Shurwin Beckford and Karma Productions. Their aim is to create unashamed populist mainstream factual television.

Afro Mic (Belfast)
Owned by Emma Dias, Afro Mic started as a short form digital indie in 2014, producing fact entertainment as well as drama shorts. In 2017 it won its first terrestrial TV commission for BBC NI.

Heenahn Bhatti (Yorkshire & the Humber)
Heenahn is a multi-award-winning programme maker, with experience in all factual genres, from obs doc to specialist factual and factual entertainment. Having directed a number of documentaries, Heenahn is now creating his own independent production company.

Big Deal (London)
Owned by Dhanny Joshi and Thomas Stogdon, Big Deal were founded in 2014 and specialise in factual, factual entertainment and scripted formats.

Meridian Line Films (Yorkshire)
Nacressa Swan has 15 years of experience working in factual television and international documentary production and co-founded Meridian Line Films, based in York.

Chatterbox (London)
Owned by Nav Raman and Ali Quirk, Chatterbox is a new production company which is female and BAME-led. Their ambition is to create for major content and platforms with new voices fresh perspectives and thought provoking content.

Ten66 (Hastings, Sussex)
Ten66 is a small, regional BAME-owned indie owned by Rukhsana Mosam, an executive with 27 years’ experience in the business. Their main slate is in factual and they have also recently started creating scripted content with new BAME comedy talent.

King of Sunshine (Manchester)
King of Sunshine Productions is the brainchild of former BBC Commissioner and Entertainment Exec Sohail Shah. Salfordian Sohail has 20 years’ experience in the industry.

Doc Hearts (London)
Owned by Andy Mundy-Castle and Roy Agyeman, Doc Hearts specialises in factual entertainment, scripted, feature documentaries, children’s content, branded content and reality formats.


What People Say

Channel 5 director of programmes Ben Frow said: “We are passionate about working with hungry, creative and enthusiastic small independents who offer a new perspective, whilst being tuned into our channel and audience needs. So this important scheme, brilliantly engineered by Simone from The TV Collective, offers business opportunities to nine talented production companies across the UK, many of whom are start-ups. In broadening our creative influence, our ambition is to see new mainstream commissioned programmes also in the peak time schedule.”

The TV Collective’s Simone Pennant added: “It was a real pleasure working on this project. For years I’ve been saying the talent is out there and they are – in abundance. So this is such a fantastic opportunity by Channel 5 and has the potential of providing life changing business opportunities for the selected companies, which can only be a good thing for the industry.  I really hope this project inspires other broadcasters to move past platitudes and look for meaningful ways to not only diversify staff teams but suppliers as well. Massive Respect to Ben and his team for showing just how easily it can be done.”


Source: www.c21media.net and www.tbivision.com


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