Published on: 20 February 2015 in Longform

Imran Naqvi on the Sky Table Read

Reading time: 2 minutes and 8 seconds

Member, Imran Naqvi writes about a new Sky initiative, the Sky Table Read...

I’ve recently become involved in the Directors UK BAME campaign and already meetings and discussions both within Directors UK and with a variety of industry organisation and broadcasters have born some encouraging developments.

As you are no doubt aware a number of the UK’s broadcasters have clarified their position on diversity within their programming, both in front and behind of the camera. Channel 4 are putting £5m into 30 diversity initiatives, the BBC are devoting £2.1m whilst both along with ITV are promising to employ more BAME people. Sky in particular has pledged to increase both their talent in front and behind camera to 20% level by the end of 2015. To that end they reached out to Directors UK with a new initiative they’ve started called the Sky Table Read.

Hosted every month by a different production company, Sky Drama invites a number of people from production companies, agents, writers, producers, actors and directors to observe a table read of a particular writer that the host production  company is currently working with. The intention being not just for reactions to the material but also to bring people together who might ordinarily have an opportunity to meet with commissioning and production executives. 

The inaugural event was held on the 30th of January in the Friendship Room at the Bloomsbury Baptist Church. Hosted by Red Planet we were joined by Tony Jordan, Simon Winstone and Belinda Campbell as well as Cameron Roach and Lizzie Gray of Sky Drama along with Adam MacDonald & Antonia Hurford Jones – Directors of Sky 1 and Sky Living respectively.

Execs from Triforce, Working Title, STV, 42, Purple Geko, Vertigo Carnival were also in attendance.

Red Planet has been working with Writer/Actor Karla Crome and decided to share with us a reading of her success Edinburgh Fringe Play “Mush & Me”. This was an informal event and we were actively encouraged to spend some time both before and after introducing ourselves to others in the room. It was also a good opportunity to see new actors performing work they were obviously very familiar with.

Sky intend to run this event on a monthly basis going forward and it’s good to see they’ve taken the diversity issues within the industry to heart and are seeking a more open and inclusive approach to the process.

Imran Naqvi

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