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We commission and support work which delivers greater access to the arts using digital platforms and content. We are interested in projects which capture great live performances or exhibitions, extend the online reach of arts content and work, or use technologies as an integrated way of developing great arts experiences. 

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UNLOCKED: What does it mean to be free?

Sky Arts commissions for Coventry artists

As the UK opens up after 18 months of Covid-19, Coventry’s brightest visual, musical and performing arts talents are invited to pitch short form film projects for broadcast on Sky Arts, as part of the UK City of Culture year.  

We are asking artists to submit ideas that respond to the question:

Unlocked: What does it mean to be free?

Ten artists or artist-led organisations will be commissioned and mentored to create new, short films for Sky Arts through a unique partnership between the broadcaster, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Shoot Festival and The Space in association with Arts Council England

This is an opportunity aimed at creatives in the city whose work has not been broadcast before and we welcome collaboration and partnership working.

We are inviting artists to explore and explode ideas of ‘freedom’: what it means to you, how we achieve it, or perhaps how far away it feels. Freedom is also one of the key themes of Coventry City of Culture. 

You can interpret this theme however you wish – it does not need to be tied to your experience of Covid-19. We want this opportunity to reflect the diverse perspectives, creativity, people and ideas in Coventry and we are looking for ideas that are bold, brave and imaginative.

We will provide bespoke mentoring and training to support the successful artists to make your projects and deliver them to Sky Arts. The programme has been made possible with funding from Arts Council England.

Please note:

  • Applicants must be currently living, working or studying in Coventry or the wider CV postcode, or have another significant connection to the area
  • You can apply for up to £7,500 ex. VAT to create a project that responds imaginatively to the provocation: Unlocked: What does it mean to be free? 
  • Your work must be suitable for broadcast on Sky Arts and be between 5 minutes and 10 minutes in duration 
  • We can provide support to access, complete or submit the application form
  • If you are commissioned, we can provide production support to help you produce your project, including support with finding partners to help you make your film, delivery of content to Sky Arts and advice about broadcast and online rights
  • We will let applicants know if they have been successful by 29 October 2021
  • Projects must be delivered to Sky Arts before the end of March 2022 ready for broadcast by Sky Arts in April and May as part of the City of Culture year.

How to apply

You can apply online via the online application form. The form asks for a brief overview of your idea, your artistic experience and an estimated budget.

Download the budget template (202 KB)

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 11 October 2021.

For further information

To find out more about this opportunity, please read the Commissioning Brief and Terms and Conditions:

In order to help with your online application, you can download a word version (55 KB) of the application form. You can use this form to draft your application for the Sky Arts Coventry Commissioning Programme and then submit your answers using our online application form.

If you can’t use the online system, you can also email this completed form and your budget to:

If you need support to access, complete or submit the application form, would like more information about the process or information in a different format, please contact us by emailing or telephoning 0121 663 1488 and leave a message including your contact details.

This programme is funded by Arts Council England, Sky Arts, Coventry City of Culture Trust and The Space and delivered in partnership with Shoot Festival.

Find out more in our commissioning podcast

In addition to reading the Commissioning Brief, you may want to listen to our Sky Arts Coventry Commissioning podcast to find out more about the opportunity.

Hear from:

  • Vanessa Woodward, Head of Partnerships, Sky Arts
  • Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director, Coventry City of Culture Trust
  • Paul O'Donnell, C0-Director, Shoot Festival
  • Fiona Morris, Creative Director and CEO, The Space

The team speak with audio producer Clare Freeman and share their thoughts on the projects we are looking to commission and the support available to those wishing to apply.

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