Channel 4 has teamed up with award-winning organisation, We Are Parable to create a mentoring and training programme for 60 Black TV, filmmakers and content creators across the UK. The new scheme, Momentum, will be run in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and London. As part of Channel 4’s drive to create new opportunities for Black people to progress in the film and TV sector, across the UK.
The 60 filmmakers will be paired with a mentor and offered one to one sessions over a six month period. Additionally, they will have access to masterclasses and discussions with top experts from across the industry. Including Channel 4 and Film4 as well as Apple, Altitude, Park Circus, STX and many more. Those taking part will get help with everything from script development, financing and funding to collaboration, sales and even distribution. As part of a comprehensive guide to what they should do next to advance their careers.
Channel 4 and We Are Parable first worked together on The Black to Front Project. Last September, Channel 4’s entire programming schedule was fronted by Black talent and contributors across all genres. And advertisements for one day, with the aim of amplifying Black voices and talent in front of and behind the screen.
Momentum is funded by Channel 4’s training and development strategy 4Skills And is part of the important legacy of the ground-breaking Black to Front Project.
Channel 4 Creative Diversity Lead Neila Butt says: “The Black to Front Project was a huge commitment and an industry first from Channel 4 and we are very proud of it. We always wanted it to have a strong legacy and for it to lead to significant commitments. We loved working with We Are Parable at the time so it’s great to be partnering with them again. As we continue our work to nurture and support Black talent, especially across the nations and regions.”
Anthony Andrews, Co-founder and Creative Director at We Are Parable says: “We’re really excited to collaborate with Channel 4 on the new iteration of Momentum. Their commitment to supporting talent behind, as well as in front of the camera, has been evident. Especially with last year’s Black To Front Project. By providing us with the tools and networks to scale Momentum to a nationwide level. We’ve been able to support more Black Filmmakers than ever.”
Teanne Andrews, Co-founder and Director of Operations at We Are Parable says they have extended the Scheme due to the demand. “We had more than 300 applicants for Momentum. And it was important for us to help everyone who approached us even if they weren’t in the final selection. Therefore, we’ve made our masterclasses available to everyone who applied for the course. Whether they were successful or not.”
Channel 4 is committed to delivering a step change in diverse representation across its own platforms and in the wider industry. It is the first broadcaster to ring-fence commissioning spend for ethnically diverse-led indies. And has guaranteed a commission from each genre team for at least one new show with ethnically diverse talent and/or ethnically-diverse stories at its heart every year.
We Are Parable also worked with Film 4 last year on the launch of the short film series Foresight, an anthology that explores alternate realities through the lens of five Black British directors. Which will be shown on All 4 and Film4 later this year.
Channel 4’s new national HQ in Leeds as well as Creative Hubs in Bristol and Glasgow are core to its 4 All the UK strategy to attract and develop talent from across the UK, both on and off screen.