Left Bank & Blast! alums among first cohort for Sky’s commissioner scheme

Clockwise from top left: Isaac Nartey, Sabrina Parmar, Leanne Cosby, Ziyaad Desai, Sholla Caramba-Coker, Gilberte Phanor

Sky in the UK has named alumni from The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures and factual firm Blast! Films to become assistant commissioners via its newly launched programme aimed at broadening out its talent pool.

Former Left Bank development producer Sholla Caramba-Coker will work on drama; Leanne Cosby has taken the Arts & Entertainment spot having worked at London theatre the Barbican; and Ambulance producer Ziyaad Desai will work across factual with Blast! alum Giberte Phanor.

Isaac Nartey was most recently work within Sky’s Young People team and will now work across kids output, while Sabrina Parmar has been appointed to film, having most recently been in development at Paramount.

A seventh recruit working with Sky Studios’ comedy team will be announced in due course.

The two-year scheme is aimed at bringing “fresh perspectives” to Sky’s commissioning teams across Sky Studios and Sky UK, the compmany said, while the overall number of commissioners will increase from 23 to 30.

Assistant commissioners will collaborate with indies and creatives across all genres to take early-stage Sky original projects from script to screen and bring new ideas to returning formats.

They’ll also be supported by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in a partnership that will give them access to group seminars, short courses and individual coaching and mentoring throughout the programme.

Zai Bennett, MD of content for Sky UK & Ireland, said: “We know that the route into commissioning isn’t an easy one, particularly at more senior levels, so we’ve made it our priority to grow and diversify the team and by extension to safeguard our ability to provide customers with world-class content.”

Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios, added: “Across all genres, but particularly within comedy and drama, it is critical that we commission projects that reflect and represent the broadest range of lived experiences.

“Through the Assistant Commissioner programme, we have been able to bring in new talent, that will help shape our scripted slate over the coming years, ensuring we continue to produce unmissable TV that is loved by all Sky viewers and the world over.”

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