Sky UK&I today announces the acquisition of Untold Stories: Hair On Set, a new documentary revealing the untold story of Afro hair on film sets, by British actress and filmmaker, Fola Evans-Akingbola (Ten Percent, The Night Agent).
The acquisition comes as Sky UK&I announces a new commitment that all productions for Sky Original programming with Black talent will have makeup artists and hair stylists experienced in Afro textured hair and darker skin tones.
Featuring exclusive interviews from stars including Naomie Harris (Moonlight, Skyfall), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), David Ajala (Star Trek: Discovery), and Verona Rose (Top Boy), Black British entertainers share for the first time their stories of hidden struggles of hair on set. In this powerful documentary, Fola Evans-Akingbola paints an intimate picture of how something as seemingly superficial as hair quickly uncovers a whole story about what it means to be different in a place you call home.
Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content, Sky UK and Ireland, said: “We’re excited to bring this powerful, topical, and compelling debut to a wide audience. The intimate, and at times harrowing, stories shared in the film highlight the need for greater action on inclusivity behind the scenes. Our commitment on Black talent builds on our ongoing work to ensure genuine inclusivity on all our productions.”
Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios, said: “We remain committed to ensuring the sets of all Sky Original dramas and comedies are an inclusive workplace where everyone is able to be their authentic self. Today’s commitment to provide skilled makeup artists and hair stylists experienced in Afro hair and darker skin tones is a key step in that journey.”
Fola Evans-Akingbola and Jordan Pitt, filmmakers, said: “This project has been a labour of love and we are honoured that rising and established stars of the British entertainment industry have trusted us with their untold stories. Their struggles force us to reconsider how we think about race, identity and belonging. The documentary celebrates the beauty of Afro hair and our hope is that it will make a positive contribution towards change in the industry. We are delighted the film has found its home with Sky.”
Andy Mundy-Castle, Founder, Doc Hearts, said: “As a father to a young girl who may be challenged by these issues, this project felt completely right for Doc Hearts to champion. In Fola and Jordan, there was a clear and distinct voice in approach and a unique spin on a familiar conversation. We like to make films that have a significant impact, and this delivers on that promise. We are very proud that Sky didn’t only see the value in this film but had already been working on their own initiative to address an industry problem that has been over looked for years.”
The film is produced by One Umbrella Productions and Doc Hearts, and will air on Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW from 1 October. Fola Evans-Akingbola and Jordan Pitt directed the film and also produced it alongside Lee MJ Daley. The film was acquired for Sky UK&I by Jack Oliver, Head of Co-Productions.
A screener and contributor list is available on Sky Media Village now. Images are available on SEAC.