Sky Arts has announced the first projects to receive funding from the Sky Arts Amplify Fund. The Fund was set up last year to encourage arts organisations and production companies to pitch collaboratively for up to £1 million annually over the next three years on new TV ideas. The first projects include a drama-doc about sexting, a new work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a ground-breaking theatrical piece.

In a new development for the scheme, Arts Council England will help broaden the reach of Amplify by creating ‘speed-dating’ sessions across England for Arts organisations and production companies to meet and discuss potential ideas. Following that, it will support some of the best ideas to be taken on to the next stage of development

The first project Sky Arts has commissioned through the fund is Generation Sext, which sees The National Youth Theatre team up with The Christmas TV & Film Company for a 30-minute “drama-documentary”, based on the early day workshops of a new National Youth Theatre play that explores issues around “sexting”, young people and sexual consent. A compelling mix of real-life testimony and dramatic scenes written as an immediate response to the issues generated by the workshops, Generation Sext is an innovative exploration of a particular issue facing young people today, told by those young people themselves. It will air on Sky Arts on Wednesday 29th July at 10.00pm.

The Sky Arts Amplify Fund has also backed an innovative, site-specific new work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from What Larks! who are developing the idea of curating and producing a specially choreographed performance piece based around a new exhibition at the park. The film, which would be filmed for broadcast on Sky Arts in 2016, would follow an artist as they prepare for the exhibition and the performance while exploring their various sources of inspiration.

Finally with support from Amplify, Wingspan Productions will be delivering a highly unusual one-off theatrical performance piece to be aired on Sky Arts in 2016. Taking the form of 2 x 60’ documentaries charting the development of the trail-blazing piece, together with a broadcast of the complete show from a theatre in the West End of London, this innovative, collaborative project will explore genuinely new artistic frontiers.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director, Sky Arts: “In launching Amplify we wanted to create new and innovative ways of making Arts TV. The first few projects out the blocks absolutely deliver on this intent. From shining a light on the world of sexting with the NYT; to unleashing an unbelievably daring way of making theatre on the world; to creating an ambitious dance-meets-sculpture project; all these projects demonstrate the vibrancy and breadth of the arts in the UK.”