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Date Posted: November 17, 2023

Disney+ UK and Northern Ireland Screen has today announced at Belfast Media Festival, a collaboration to help support and grow the production sector in Northern Ireland.

Local independent production companies are invited to pitch in a bid to receive a development fund awarded by Disney+ UK and Northern Ireland Screen.

The brief:

  • Female-skewed
  • Factual
  • Single film
  • Northern Irish, Irish or British subject matter

The development fund will be awarded to up to five successful Northern Ireland based indies. The recipients will also receive one-on-one creative sessions with Sean Doyle, Director, Unscripted, Disney+ EMEA, for a period of development up to 12 months.

Doyle said: “This is an exciting opportunity, not only for the globally recognised creative talent coming out of Northern Ireland, but also for Disney+ to continue developing bold, local stories across unscripted with outstanding creators and producers in local markets.”

The aim of the collaboration between Disney+ UK and Northern Ireland Screen are to create more opportunities for NI talent – both established and emerging – to advance their careers in the television sectors and to build strong relationships between the Disney+ EMEA commissioning team and the television production sector in Northern Ireland.

This collaboration is part of the commitment from Disney+ to source, develop and produce local original productions in Europe. UK Original productions available to stream on the service include: “Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story”, “Finding Michael”, “Save Our Squad with David Beckham”, “Culprits”, “The Full Monty” and “Extraordinary”.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen added; “We are delighted to launch this exciting new collaboration with Disney+. Funds like this are vital to the development of our screen industry. Northern Ireland boasts an abundance of creative talent, and this initiative not only aims to strengthen the bonds between Northern Ireland indies and Disney+ commissioners but also promises to yield some brilliant new content. Ultimately, it’s the viewers across the UK who will reap the benefits.”

More information on how to submit pitches can be found here.

Eligibility Criteria

The development strand of the Screen Fund is open to independent production companies based in NI who are able to demonstrate a track record in output and that are working with Northern Ireland resident creative talent (e.g. writer, director, producer).  All applicant companies must be legally incorporated. Local authorities, educational establishments and community groups are not eligible to apply.

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