UK broadcaster Channel 4 and Motion Content Group (part of GroupM, WPP’s media investment group) have launched a multi-million pound fund to raise commissions for small and medium-sized production companies run by various ethnicities.
The Channel 4 and Motion Content Group Diverse Indies Fund will be editorially overseen by Channel 4 Editor-in-Chief Vivienne Molokwu and for Motion Content Group the fund will be managed by the Head of Diversity, Equity and inclusion, Deep Sehgal.
The fund is designed to support and bring to life the ideas of creative leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds and those ideas must be “creatively exciting, entertaining and reimbursable”, Channel 4 and Motion Content Group said in a statement.
In 2021, Channel 4 pledged to triple its spending on ethnically-diverse-led independents by the end of 2023, and pledged that every editor would have at least one ethnically-led independent various on its development slate as part of its Black to Front project. .
A creative brief is live now on 4Producers and eligible freelancers will be encouraged to pitch their ideas through editors and department heads, with go-live cycles spread throughout the year.
Channel 4’s creative diversity team, led by Naomi Sesay, will be available to support production companies.
Molokwu said: “At Channel 4 we recognize that spend is what makes the difference for freelancers and if we are to significantly diversify our suppliers we need to accelerate the increase in hours ordered with ethnically diverse freelancers. Although we already work closely with a number of eligible indies and have already become the first broadcaster to limit commissioning expenses for ethnically diverse indies, by working with Motion Content Group we are increasing the possibilities of redeemable retail formats that further reflect our true commitment under the Black to Front project to meaningful and lasting change.
Sehgal said, “Our goal is to help create a sustainable pipeline of diverse production talent – and we’re bringing that to life with substantial long-term investments. Motion continues to work with some of the country’s most successful independent producers, and we’re passionate about bringing that expertise to enable and support more diverse voices.