Sky announces first projects to receive funding from £3 million Sky Arts Amplify fund

Sky announces first projects to receive funding from £3 million Sky Arts Amplify fund
Sky Arts has announced the first projects to receive funding from the Sky Arts Amplify Fund. The Fund was set up last year to encourage arts organisations and production companies to pitch collaboratively for up to £1 million annually over the next three years on new TV ideas. The first projects include a drama-doc about sexting, a new work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a ground-breaking theatrical piece.

In a new development for the scheme, Arts Council England will help broaden the reach of Amplify by creating ‘speed-dating’ sessions across England for Arts organisations and production companies to meet and discuss potential ideas. Following that, it will support some of the best ideas to be taken on to the next stage of development

The first project Sky Arts has commissioned through the fund is Generation Sext, which sees The National Youth Theatre team up with The Christmas TV & Film Company for a 30-minute “drama-documentary”, based on the early day workshops of a new National Youth Theatre play that explores issues around “sexting”, young people and sexual consent. A compelling mix of real-life testimony and dramatic scenes written as an immediate response to the issues generated by the workshops, Generation Sext is an innovative exploration of a particular issue facing young people today, told by those young people themselves. It will air on Sky Arts on Wednesday 29th July at 10.00pm.

The Sky Arts Amplify Fund has also backed an innovative, site-specific new work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from What Larks! who are developing the idea of curating and producing a specially choreographed performance piece based around a new exhibition at the park. The film, which would be filmed for broadcast on Sky Arts in 2016, would follow an artist as they prepare for the exhibition and the performance while exploring their various sources of inspiration.

Finally with support from Amplify, Wingspan Productions will be delivering a highly unusual one-off theatrical performance piece to be aired on Sky Arts in 2016. Taking the form of 2 x 60’ documentaries charting the development of the trail-blazing piece, together with a broadcast of the complete show from a theatre in the West End of London, this innovative, collaborative project will explore genuinely new artistic frontiers. 

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director, Sky Arts: “In launching Amplify we wanted to create new and innovative ways of making Arts TV. The first few projects out the blocks absolutely deliver on this intent. From shining a light on the world of sexting with the NYT; to unleashing an unbelievably daring way of making theatre on the world; to creating an ambitious dance-meets-sculpture project; all these projects demonstrate the vibrancy and breadth of the arts in the UK.”

For further information, please contact:

Ffion Williams
PR Manager, Sky
020 7032 3071

Notes to Editors

About Sky Arts Amplify
The Sky Arts Amplify fund encourages arts organisations and production companies to pitch collaboratively for up to £1million annually on new TV ideas, as part of a broader investment in the UK and Ireland’s creative industries. The initiative, announced in November 2014, is designed to foster integrated partnerships between creative institutions and TV production companies, bringing the vibrancy and breadth of the arts in the UK and Ireland to life on screen in innovative, new ways.  

After the initial announcement last year, Sky Arts invited a number of Arts organisations to a ‘speed-dating’ session in late 2014 in London where they met with production companies to brainstorm initial ideas. They were then encouraged to team up with one of a shortlist of TV production companies so they could submit one-page treatments in early 2015.

Submissions for the next round of funding are being accepted on a rolling basis.

About Generation Sext
It was filmed at workshops for the for forthcoming National Youth Theatre play, Consensual, written by Evan Placey which will premiere at The Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End this autumn. Generation Sext is directed by Frances Dickenson, The Christmas TV & Film Company, and Paul Roseby, The National Youth Theatre. It is produced by The Christmas TV & Film Company’s Caz Gorham and Jo McClellan is Executive Producer for Sky. The drama elements were written by Kirstie Swain.

About the Wingspan Productions project
The documentary’s Producer/Director is Cat Gale, the Executive Producer is Archie Baron, the Head of Production is Lil Cranfield. Siobhan Mulholland is Executive Producer for Sky.

About the Yorkshire Sculpture Park project
The project is executively produced by Claire Whalley at What Larks! Siobhan Mulholland is Executive Producer for Sky.

About Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. For more information visit www.artscouncil.org.uk  

About Sky
Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company. The group serves 21 million customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.

Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe's leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of over £4.6 billion. The company employs 31,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY). For more information visit www.sky.com/corporate