Photos of Hollywood and London side by side with creative corridor logo in the middle, the project helped underrepresented writers

New UK-US initiative opens a corridor for underrepresented writers and producers

A new UK-US collaboration is helping underrepresented writers co-produce projects across both sides of the Atlantic. 

UK organisation the Independent Film Trust (IFT) and US screenwriting education platform Roadmap Writers are joining together to launch Creative Corridor.

The scheme will unite five diverse US writers with five diverse UK writers throughout November and December 2021 and support them to develop their verbal and written pitches.

Head of Creative Development at IFT, Tolu Stedford, said: “By not investing in diversifying our talent pool, we are squandering great British talent and stories, consequently not representing a true reflection of the world. 

“We must not lose the rich, innovative narratives to ensure Britain remains at a world-class standard.”

Fewer than 2% of writers working in UK TV identify as Black, while only 2.4% of production executives and 4.4% of series producers identify as Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), according to the Creative Diversity Network.

As a transnational collaboration, Creative Corridor will provide participants with opportunities for creative and commercial growth across two very significant audiences.

According to management consulting firm McKinsey, the US film and television industry could increase annual revenue by 7% by improving Black representation on-set and on-screen.

IFT CEO Charlotte Knowles said: “When we look at what both industries stand to lose, it makes you wonder why more isn’t being done to resolve this issue. 

“Boosting inclusion in TV and film is not just the right thing to do, it is a commercial imperative. We can’t afford to maintain the status quo.

“It is in everyone’s interest that we do everything we can to develop the full range of talent each country has to offer.”

Creative Corridor is free for writers to take part thanks to sponsorship from SMASH, a digital tool kit which includes an interactive pitch building tool.

The project will involve speaker sessions from top producers and industry leaders including from the BBC and Netflix.

Featured image credit: Independent Film Trust

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