Are you ready for the next Peppa Pig? The Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) has announced its first slate of production and development awards, co-funding nine projects.
The slate features two projects for Channel 5′s Milkshake!, including the mixed-media preschool drama Mimi’s World (Adastra Development) and the factual live-action preschool series Meet the Experts (Boom Cymru TV Cyf).
ITV’s first project with the fund is How! (Terrific Television), a children’s information show targeting kids ages six to 12. CITV’s budget was upped by 10% this year, and the channel aims to greenlight three additional projects in 2020.
Funding was also provided for several efforts from BBC ALBA, including the live-action dramedy Rùn/Secret (Sorbier Productions) and the documentary Lachlan, Balach aig a’ Mhullach/Boy at the Top (Sorbier Productions, pictured). Both projects target the eight to 11 set and are in Scottish Gaelic.
BBC ALBA, S4C and TG4 co-commissioned the animated project SOL (Paper Owl Films), targeting kids ages eight to 11. Additionally, S4C’s Welsh-language live-action dramas Person/A (Cwmni Da Cyf) and Y Gyfrinach/The Secret (Boom Cymru TV Cyf) are part of the slate.
The YACF also funded the documentary specials FYI Specials (Fresh Start Media), which will be available on Sky News. Fresh Start will also create a set of I Don’t Get It explainers and seven Kidversations short films that will air on Sky News and be available in classrooms through First News. Following a short holdback, the specials, explainers and short films will be available on-demand through Sky Kids.
The majority of funding was awarded to projects targeting older children and to content that is designed to help kids understand the world around them or reflect the diversity of UK children’s lives. Additionally, the YAFC has provided 15 development awards for what were deemed “ambitious” projects.
The YACF is administered by the British Film Institute and allocates up to US$74 million in support of content for viewers up to 18 years old. The YAFC is also focused on decreasing market concentration and increasing competition and content diversity.
Applications for the YACF must be made by or through a company registered and centrally managed in the UK, another state of the European Union or the European Economic Area. Awards from the fund support up to 50% of production costs, with applicants responsible for securing the remaining financing.
The YACF launched in 2018 as part of a three-year program designed to bolster locally produced original children’s television content. Longtime BBC kids exec Jackie Edwards oversees the fund. Since the YAFC opened its doors for submissions in April, it has received more than 120 applications.