Female directors bring comedy Horror Shorts to Sky this Halloween
A spooky collection of comedy Horror Shorts is arriving on Sky this Halloween, directed for the first time by an all-female line-up.
Curated and produced by the award-winning Merman team of Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford (Catastrophe, Bliss), this collection of Halloween-themed treats brings together some of the best new and established female directing talent in a fright-fest of short-form comedy.
Ghastly ghost tours, a wedding turned sinister and mysterious strangers harbouring scary secrets make for a spine-chilling yet hilarious collection of stories that includes: A Deal, directed by Nida Manzoor; It Should Have Been Me, directed by Emily Greenwood; and Twin Thing, directed by Kate Herron.
Sharon Horgan, Merman Founder and Executive Producer, said: “Finding strong female voices has always been important to us at Merman because there’s still an imbalance there to address. To be able to champion these women through Sky’s comedy shorts was a great opportunity.”
Jon Mountague, Head of Sky Comedy, commented: “This series of shorts has been created by a brilliant cohort of all-female directors who are bringing something new, exciting and refreshing to the comedy line-up on Sky. Through our partnership with the extremely talented Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford of Merman, Sky hopes to encourage more women to get involved with directing, writing and all technical roles in comedy.”
Clelia Mountford, Merman Founder and Executive Producer, commented: “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet just some of the brilliant female directors in the industry for this season of shorts, and the three we are working with have reaffirmed how the female gaze can result in exciting and surprising results in comedy. At Merman we remain committed to exploring opportunities for female directors and Sky’s shorts are a wonderful example of this.”
The Halloween Horror Shorts have been commissioned for Sky by head of comedy Jon Mountague. They will be available exclusively on Sky on demand from 23 October and will then air on Sky Arts from 31 October.
Merman has a host of female directors on its growing roster and welcomes talent with diverse experience. They have previously produced a number of comedy shorts for Sky, most recently Morgana Robinson’s Summer: Dream Land, directed by MJ Delaney.
The Horror Shorts coming to Sky this Halloween are:
Horror Shorts: Twin Thing Directed by Kate Herron Kehinde & Taiwo are identical twins but chalk and cheese in every other respect. As historian Kehinde launches her guided tour, actress Taiwo seems determined to jeopardise its accuracy by vamping up the scare factor… Written by Andi Osho
Starring: Andi Osho, Evelyn Mok, Jackie Clune
Horror Shorts: It Should Have Been Me Directed by Emily Greenwood It's the morning of Kelly's wedding and she has turned into the typical bridezilla. So far only one of her bridesmaids has turned up and other strange things are happening at the hotel. Phones stop working, the door is jammed shut and there are footsteps echoing down the corridor. Is something sinister afoot or is it a case of one wedding too far for Caroline? Written by Bex Harvey and Christian Azzola
Starring: Jessica Knappett, Jessica Regan
Horror Shorts: A Deal Directed by Nida Manzoor The story of Jen and her encounter with a strange woman in a pub who promises her £4m tax free in exchange for giving her scary information about her future. What does Jen do? She wants the £4m, but can she handle the knowledge this stranger will tell her? Written by Dan Mersh Starring: Sheila Reid, Mandeep Dhillon, Jaz Deol
Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company, serving 22.5 million customers across seven countries - UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. The company has annual revenues of £12.9 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with annual programming spend of over £6 billion.
From exclusive partnerships with HBO and Showtime, to Sky Original Productions, Sky offers the best and broadest range of content along with the best viewing experience to suit each and every customer. Whether that’s through the multi-award winning next generation box, Sky Q, or Sky’s contract-free online streaming service, NOW TV, customers have access to the latest movies, drama, sports and kids entertainment wherever and whenever they like. This is all supported by Sky’s best in class customer service.
Sky’s success is not just based on what the company does but how it does it. Named as one of the Top 10 Green Companies in the World by Newsweek, one of the world’s most recognised rankings of business’s environmental performance, Sky ensures its responsible business strategy is embedded right across the group.
Sky has over 31,000 employees and is listed as one of The Times Top 50 employers for women. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).
Merman was founded in 2014 by award-winning duo Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford. Since then, Merman has gathered multiple accolades the world over, including BAFTA, Emmy and RTS Awards.
Merman’s recent projects include Motherland for BBC2 starring Anna Maxwell Martin, Lucy Punch, Diane Morgan and Paul Ready, Bliss for Sky 1 starring Heather Graham and Stephen Mangan, the third series of the award-winning Catastrophe for Channel 4/Amazon created by and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, Divorce by Sharon Horgan for HBO starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church, Morgana Robinson’s Summer: Dream Land for Sky Arts, and Todd Margaret for IFC starring David Cross, Will Arnett, Sharon Horgan, Jack McBrayer and Blake Harrison, with many more projects in development and production.
Merman works in all areas of the worlds of entertainment and communications, not just scripting award-winning TV and film, but also creating and executing the next generation of branded entertainment.
The Merman family of talent includes David Cross, Rob Delaney, Dennis Kelly, Graham Linehan, Jack McBrayer, Sara Pascoe, Shaun Pye, Aisling Bea, Sarah Jessica Parker, Morgana Robinson and of course Sharon Horgan. Merman’s commercial directing roster features multi-faceted talent like MJ Delaney, Peter Lydon, SNL director Paul Briganti, Frank Coraci, rising star Mariana Youssef and Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker. In the UK, Merman is proud to represent Superprime and its roster of directors including Martin Scorsese, Terence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, The Malloys, David LaChapelle, and Damien “La La Land” Chazelle.
Since its genesis in scripted comedy, Merman has added brand communication and advertising production to its output, with Global Managing Partner/Exec Producer and Academy Nominee Kira Carstensen running the LA and NY offices, and Jeremy Rainbird, Global Managing Partner/Executive Producer and industry veteran running the London office. Beyond traditional ads, Merman’s focus is to bring writers and creators from their TV and film family into scripting entertainment for brands.
Merman Founders Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan first met on Season 1 of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret as producer and actor respectively. Both enjoyed full and diverse careers before joining forces to create Merman in 2014. In addition to working with established writers, actors and directors around the world, they remain committed to discovering and nurturing new talent as the Merman family grows.