Sky has announced a dual track plan to invest in original content through a major new investment in feature length British films.
New films for family audiences will show on Sky Movies, while new documentary films will be carried on Sky Atlantic. The first movies will be seen on screen in 2013.
Sky has been significantly building its original content portfolio and has committed to increasing investment in home-grown programming to £600 million by 2014, an increase of more than 50% over three years.
New productions are already in development and Sky Movies is seeking submissions for further projects to be considered. The projects are being funded by a dedicated, six figure development fund.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive, said: “We see a real opportunity in British films, where we’ve already invested millions in three feature-length productions with Sir David Attenborough. Now we intend to green light more family films for Sky customers and help more of the best documentary makers to bring the films they most want to make to the screen. This is an ambitious plan that will bring benefits to the wider creative industries as well as to Sky and our customers.”
Sky says it will prioritise projects that appeal to the whole family, with an emphasis on new, cinematographic quality content that matches the scale and ambition of recent home-grown commissions such as Treasure Island (pictured) and Neverland.
Those movies that are approved for development will have budgets in the region of £5 million.
Sky Atlantic HD, which also serves as HBO’s output channel in the UK, will have up to 12 peak time documentaries. Sky says that its stated ambition is for Sky Atlantic HD to become the home of gold standard documentary films. It has issued a brief to the world’s best documentary makers and says it is looking for them to come to the channel with bold ideas.
The documentaries will be seen on both Sky Atlantic and Sky Movies, as well as their respective catch-up services.