Sky Documentaries Emerging Directors Initiative

Do you have the passion and determination to tell bold, thought-provoking stories? Do you have industry experience working on documentaries, but have not yet got the break to direct a full TV hour or longer? If so, we want to hear from you.

Here at Sky Documentaries, we’re passionate about championing emerging talent. We’ve partnered with APEX to present our £500,000 documentary shorts fund, which will spotlight emerging filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds by enabling them to make exceptional short films of up to 25 minutes.

The Brief

The brief is simple – we’re looking for an incredible story. Your film could be an intimate biography, a jaw-dropping crime mystery, a scathing polemic, or a sensitive observational piece. It may reflect on major global events that resonate universally or be inspired by something altogether different and extraordinary.


We’re looking for emerging filmmakers with clear, original creative vision who will embrace the distinct possibilities offered by short form filmmaking, and who will craft engaging films that prioritise story. We are not looking for anything hosted by a presenter.

We want to support you to do your best work. Those selected will be partnered with experienced factual producers who will provide mentorship and production support throughout the process.

Each film of between 10 and 25 minutes will get a linear broadcast, then live online as part of the Sky Documentaries Originals brand.


The initiative is designed to support creative talent from underrepresented minorities who face barriers to opportunities, specifically due to mental health or disability, and those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic or Traveller communities.

Our goal is to promote a new wave of UK filmmaking talent, ensuring a clear and accessible pathway for them by providing a stepping-stone to longer form content for Sky Documentaries and beyond.

Applications are open to anyone with substantial experience working on documentaries, but who has not directed their own documentary hour for network television or a streamer. Those who have directed single episodes of returnable series, or docs broadcast on regional channels may be considered. Applicants must be UK-based, and only one application per person will be accepted.

If you have any queries, please contact SkyDocsShorts@sky.uk

Essex Murders

How to apply

The Sky Emerging Directors Initiative will be accessible throughout the year, commissioning on a rolling basis. Applicants should send a CV and a written treatment of their idea with a creative outline no longer than two pages to SkyDocsShorts@sky.uk. Submitting a tape is not required but will be considered if sent.

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