Green Dragon Media—written evidence (FCF0010)

 

House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee inquiry into the future of Channel 4

 

As a micro-indie in the smallest nation of the UK it is vital for a company like mine to have the publicly funded remit of a PSB like Channel 4 to remain in the public domain.

 

The idea of privatising an organisation that has committed to guaranteeing small independent producers such as myself is hugely worrying and if it goes ahead, will damage an already struggling industry.

 

I have received development funding from C4 in recent years and have directly benefited from their remit to support the nations and regions, specifically Northern Ireland. I was part of the presentation delegation for Northern Ireland when we were on the shortlist of UK cities to be the new home for C4.

 

We all know that a privatised C4 would mean the end of this targeted support just as had begun to make inroads into commissioning from Derry Girls, to Snoop Dogs. It would bring an end to development funding for micro indies who needed help to make their ideas commissionable. It would end the nations and regions remit and put in place a homogenized one size fits all commercial doctrine that would not benefit the local production industry nor the national audience.

 

Decisions like these always seem to be taken away from the places that will be impacted the most and as a region, nation and culture that will be forever intertwined with the UK that is both unacceptable and dangerous. Where would we be without the ability to tell our stories, to sell our ideas and scripts?  We can’t compete with the super indie both in terms of development spend or ease of access to the front line of commissioning. This will be even more difficult in a privatised broadcasting world. Just ask those of us who can’t get a look in with the streamers and VoD services.

 

To lose an ear, a market, a supporter in the shape of a PSB like Channel 4 would be the death nail of the Northern Ireland independent sector.

 

Thank you for considering our opinions and I hope you can see what folly this is.

 

 

September 2021