Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has unveiled a new Creative Diversity Fund to be operated across its international production group, starting with its U.K.-based entities, which include recently acquired Sex Education producer Eleven Films and The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures.
Sony says the aim of the program — part of Sony’s Sony Pictures Action initiative — is to help build a community of diverse creative talent within the international television industry.
SPT, along with an external partner from the British Film Institute, will work with its portfolio of international production companies to identify, develop and champion talent — in particular writers, producers and directors — from underrepresented backgrounds.
Starting with the U.K.-based production companies in its first year, the fund aims to create opportunities for individuals by offering additional financial resources to support their engagement on specific projects with SPT companies, encouraging long-lasting relationships with mentors from across the international production group.
“We want the fund to act as ‘direct action’ support to give talented individuals that critical first break on real, live projects,” said Richard Parsons, COO of Sony Pictures Television, international production. “We’re proud that Sony Corporation has contributed generously to charitable bodies worldwide through its $100 million Social Justice Fund; this is a complementary initiative to work from the ground up, using our international production companies to accelerate the careers of a new wave of diverse talent.”
While Sony isn’t commenting on the size of the fund, it’s coming out of the $100 million Sony Corporation Social Justice Fund launched last year.
Several projects tied to the Creative Diversity Fund are already underway, including supporting Blueprint TV’s commission of an original series treatment from writer Dipo Baruwa-Etti, which they will take out to commissioners together, and supporting the placement across two TV productions of an assistant script editor identified through Eleven Films’ “Duly Noted” training program for people of color, launched in November.