Channel 4 commissions Barcroft Studios for slate of ‘4Real’ films

Channel 4 has commissioned Barcroft Studios for a slate of short-form digital shorts under the ‘4Real’ banner. 

The commission is the first originating from Channel 4’s recently formed Digital Creative Unit (DCU) — a Leeds-based initiative intended to commission and produce digital content to reach audiences on social and digital platforms. 4Real is the venture’s new factual strand, aimed at young audiences.

The newly rebranded Barcroft Studios is to produce more than 100 original factual films intended for distribution on social channels. CEO Sam Barcroft will executive produce the 4Real output and collaborate with Channel 4’s DCU editorial, commercial and social teams.

Barcroft said: “We’re excited to be collaborating with Channel 4 on this bold, innovative new move in creating, formatting and distributing original digital content tailored for young audiences. Our 12 years’ knowledge gained from producing over 2,500 digital original shorts, married with Channel 4’s creative expertise and brand values, is an exciting proposition. We’ll work together to discover and launch grassroots talent and formats for the future that will resonate with youth audiences where they spend their screen time”.

Danny Horan, head of factual at Channel 4, added: “It’s not before time that we are commissioning digital first factual content. We hope the Channel 4 brand and reputation, combined with Barcroft’s expertise, will produce extraordinary stories using innovation and new talent. It’s a new path — one which will extend our reach, our breadth of story-telling and capture a younger, wider audience.”