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Channel 4 Launches 2023 Contestable Fund

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Channel 4 has challenged independent producers to bring them ideas that are "too bold for any other broadcaster or streamer to commission" as it launches its 2023 Contestable Fund.

The fund offers indies an opportunity to pitch popular, genre-bending and genuinely inventive ideas to Channel 4 commissioners, with the ambition that the best would move into production next year and tx in 2025.

First launched in 2020, Channel 4 uses the initiative to call for potentially 'channel-defining formats' each year, with funding provided by GroupM Motion Entertainment.

Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer, said: "The Contestable Fund was created to encourage indies to think big and pitch the kind of ideas that might not fit into narrow genre briefs and has attracted some of the most inventive and exciting pitches we have seen. We're looking for audacious, audience-driving shows that also underscore Channel 4's mission to create genuine change through entertainment. The successful commissions might take time to develop, but we hope they will add to our roster of programmes that go into production next year for tx in 2025."

Kiran Nataraja, Director of Content Strategy and Planning, said: "We love the Contestable Fund as it allows us to create ambitious, buzzy and channel-defining shows with our indie partners. We’re seeking distinctive ideas that may be cross-genre, with scale and the potential to return, and give us fresh and exciting content to attract broad audiences on both streaming and linear."

Channel 4 is seeking ideas that have the potential to be talked about, become a regular in linear schedules and, importantly, a serious driver on Channel 4 streaming. It is likely that the ideas will be cross-genre, as the space where genuinely fresh approaches are realised. They could have talent at their heart, or no talent at all, and can be live or pre-recorded.

The closing date for initial submissions to the Contestable Fund will be 2nd February 2024. Ideas should be taken to Channel 4’s commissioning editors or heads of department in the first instance.

The process will be overseen by Channel Executive, Art Sejdiu, and final decisions will be made over the Spring in commissioning rounds with Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer and Kiran Nataraja, Director of Content Strategy and Planning.

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