Aside from their tireless work in bringing world class TV to our homes and improving Britain's young athletes in the Sky Academy, Sky are also dedicated to supporting the arts within the UK. As arts budgets are slashed in an austerity nation, Sky have stepped up and offered £3 million in funding to encourage arts organisations to pitch together to win up to a million pounds in funding annually over the next three years on new TV ideas. Now, a few months later Sky are pleased to announce the first three ideas that have come from the fund. They're a drama-doc about sexting, a new work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a ground-breaking theatrical piece.
A new development in the scene means that Arts Council England will help broaden the reach of Sky Arts Amplify by creating so called 'speed dating' sessions across England for Arts organisations and production companies to meet and discuss potential ideas and collaboration. If those meetings are successful, Sky will support some of the best ideas to help take them to the next stage of development. It's a fantastic deal for arts organisations and for Sky, and both are hoping that the future is bright.
The first project that Sky Arts have commissioned through the fund is called Generation Sext, and it sees the National Youth Theatre team up with The Christmas TV & Film Company for a 30 minute drama-doc based on the earth day workshops of a new National Youth Theatre play that explores the issues around so-called 'Sexting', young people and sexual consent. Described as "a compelling mix of real-life testimony and dramatic scenes written as an immediate response to the issues generated by the workshops", it promises to be nothing if not totally fascinating. Generation Sext will air on Sky Arts on Wednesday the 29th of July at 10pm.
Next up is a site specific work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from What Larks!, who are developing the idea of creating a specially choreographed performance piece based around a new exhibition within the park. The Sky Arts film would be follow an artist as they prepare for the exhibition and the performance while exploring their inspirations and dreams. There is no specific release date, but Sky Arts assure us it'll broadcast in 2016.
The final project getting support from Amplify is from Wingspan Productions, who will be delivering a highly unusual one-off theatrical performance piece to be aired on Sky Arts in 2016. Taking the form of two one hour documentaries detailing the development of the innovative piece and the final piece in full from a theatre in London's West End. The project is due to air in 2016.
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.”
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