Launched in 2020, the £1m Fund supports the growth of small independent production companies with turnovers below £10m across Drama, Entertainment, Comedy, Factual, and Daytime. This year for the first time the Fund includes companies selected and mentored by the Children’s commissioning team.
The initiative was designed to help boost the strength of UK production in the context of global competition with a strong focus on companies with diverse leadership and producers based outside London. This year sees our highest ever number of companies based in the English Regions, with significant increase in support for companies based in the North East and Midlands.
79% (38 companies) of this year’s small indie fund companies are based in the Nations and the English Regions and 52% (25 companies) have diverse leadership. The successful companies receive strategic investment and a BBC commissioning editor as a mentor to help them grow.
The 50 companies in last year’s Small Indie Fund cohort have already won 48 new commissions since they were selected, with many more ideas still in active development, and a number of series re-commissions.
Matt Travers, Head of Business, TV Commissioning and Business Development, says: “The BBC’s small indie fund enables us to back companies across the UK who have brilliant stories to tell and help create the next generation of on and off screen talent. Companies like these are the lifeblood of the UK’s creative industry. It’s incredible to hear we’ve already had 48 commissions from the companies we supported last year and we look forward working with this year’s cohort.”
We supported Brock Media which has resulted in an exciting script commission from BBC Drama, our first with the company. The Small Indie Fund support focused on developing female East Asian talent which Sarah Brocklehurst is a passionate advocate for, and the BBC Drama team were keen to back.
Sarah Brocklehurst, founder and CEO, Brock Media, says: “The British East-Asian community is woefully under-represented on our screens. I’m thankful to the BBC Drama team for recognising that and working so enthusiastically with me to champion three projects from the exceptional East-Asian talent on the Brock Media slate. We are thrilled this has led to our first script commission with BBC Drama. Onwards!”
Commissions from the previous Small Indie Fund cohort also include Coast to Coast Food Festival (w/t The Great Food Festival), where Friel Kean and Alleycats were commissioned to produce films. Alleycats have also been commissioned to make Clive Myrie’s Italian Roadtrip for BBC Two.
The BBC already commissions significantly more small producers than any other broadcaster and wants to sustain plurality of supply and support innovation in all its forms. This Fund enables them to compete more effectively when they don’t have the support of big international corporate groups.
Companies selected for the 2023 Small Indie Fund:
Big Mountain Productions
Nice One Productions Ltd.
Out of Orbit Ltd
Beastly Media Ltd
Bright Branch Media Ltd
14th Floor Productions
North Bridge Media
Restless Native Productions Ltd.
Wild Child Animation
Candle & Bell – North East
MCC Media Limited – North East
Middlechild Productions – North East
Schnoobert Productions – North East
Sea & Sky Pictures – North East
Twenty Six 03 Entertainment – North East
Can Can Productions – Yorkshire
Brazen Productions Ltd – Yorkshire
Candour Productions Ltd. – Yorkshire
Kerrupt Animation – Yorkshire
Blue House Productions – North West
Buffalo Dragon Ltd – North West
Escape Films – North West
King of Sunshine – North West
Leopard Pictures – North West
Little Monk – North West
Teen Club Ltd – North West
Three Arrows Media – North West
Tiny House Productions Ltd – North West
Full Fat – West Midlands
Griffin Pictures – East Midlands
MacLarty Brown Media – East Midlands
SLNda Ltd. – East Midlands (also London based)
The Slate Works – South West
(Gold Wala – London and Bristol)
Big Deal Films
Gold Wala Ltd. (also Bristol based)
Last Conker Ltd
Nuwave Pictures Ltd.
Ranga Bee Productions
Silver Salt Films
Turnover Films Ltd.
48 new programmes have been commissioned from the 50 companies supported in 2021/22, with many more ideas still in active development.
Three quarters of the companies supported in 21/22 were based in the Nations and English Regions and 50% were diverse led.