Written By: Matthew Campelli 6/7/15
Channel 4 will give diverse writers the chance to pen original series for its main channel and E4 as part of its newly-launched Studio4 initiative.
The 12-month project will see the broadcaster work with Run indie Acme Films in order to develop underrepresented black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) writing talent.
Those taking part in the initiative will vie to progress through several stages.
After conceiving ideas for C4 or E4 series, eight writers will be chosen by Acme for a pitch development process. Four will progress to the next stage, where they will write first draft scripts and a series outline, before being whittled down to two.
The two finalists will then go through an “intensive development period” which will result in an original series proposition and episode one final scripts.
Studio4 is part of Channel 4’s 360° Diversity Charter. When it launched in January, C4 said the objective of the scheme was to “launch the careers of five new writers from diverse backgrounds”.
It will run across the year and be led by Acme creative director Jaimie D’Cruz and scripted head of development Carly Rich-Conway.
C4 deputy head of drama Beth Willis will give participants editorial feedback at each stage. They will also be supported by Acme development executive Chloe Moss, assistant script editor Rienkje Attoh and Creative Skillset TV partnership manager Ruth Palmer.
Willis said the scheme was the chance for diverse writers to “fast track their ideas with script commissions with regular support”. However, there is no guarantee that the projects will be commissioned to series by C4.
Separately, C4 has also paired up two diverse writers with Lime Pictures and Red Production Company.
Nuzhat Ali and Sharma Walfall were the winners of the C4 and Northumbria University Writing for Television Award at last week’s Northern Writers’ Awards.
The pair will take up 10-month placements with the indies who will mentor them through the script commission process.