BBC announces new talent behind the New Documentary Directors Initiative
Four aspiring film makers have been recruited as part of the BBC’s initiative to champion up-and-coming factual directing talent
PHOTO: L-R: Caroline Sciama, Olivia Isaacs, Aodh Breathnach, Sophie Fuller
"We are now in the fifth year of the New Documentary Directors Initiative, which provides vital opportunity, accessibility and resource for emerging director talent. By giving talented programme makers the opportunity to train at the heart of the BBC’s factual content, we continue to reinvent the factual slate with new ideas and unrivalled creativity from up-and-coming talent." — Beejal Patel
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Caroline Sciama, Olivia Isaacs, Aodh Breathnach and Sophie Fuller have been selected by the BBC’s documentary commissioning team to make their first documentary film through the New Documentary Directors Initiative.
The initiative takes place every 18 months and aims to nurture and champion new factual talent. The new directors will be housed in production companies who will support them to make their first film for BBC Three. They will receive a series of masterclasses from experienced industry talent and will be partnered with an executive producer who will act as a mentor throughout the process.
The New Directors Initiative has had huge success with a large number of brilliant and award-winning films including Defending Digga D which was directed by Marian Mohamed who won a Bafta for Emerging Factual Talent; Sudden Death: My Sister’s Silent Killer from Lindsay Konieczny which follows 17 year-old Patrick as he attempts to understand the sudden death of his 19 year old sister, Lauren; and Abused By My Sports Coach (w/t) which is out later this year and is directed by Helen Spooner, which follows journalist Charlie Webster as she investigates sexual abuse of young athletes.
Previous films have included Manchester Bomb: Our Story, directed by Lizzie Kempton, Abused by My Girlfriend from Niamh Kennedy, and Why Dad Killed Mum: My Family's Secret by Lila Allen.
As well as directing on a flagship BBC documentary series such as Ambulance and Hospital, alumni from the series have gone on to direct a range of high profile single films like powerful one off The Case Of Sally Challen. Niamh Kennedy is currently making The Essex Lorry Deaths (w/t), a film for BBC Two about the Essex police investigation after the discovery of 39 dead Vietnamese migrants in the back of a lorry last year.
Beejal Patel, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries says “We are now in the fifth year of the New Documentary Directors Initiative, which provides vital opportunity, accessibility and resource for emerging director talent. By giving talented programme makers the opportunity to train at the heart of the BBC’s factual content, we continue to reinvent the factual slate with new ideas and unrivalled creativity from up-and-coming talent.
"With a history of award-winning programmes produced through the Documentary Directors Initiative, the scheme has already been successful in developing the next generation of directors. I’m excited to see what this years’ talent will bring.”
About the directors</>
Caroline has been working in documentaries for the past five years, often focusing on sensitive and difficult subjects. She has recently produced Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death for Channel 4, Being Frank: The Frank Gardner Story and Silenced for BBC Two and Life and Birth for BBC One. She likes to find the heart and humour in some of the most difficult circumstances, and wants to allow people who are often unheard to tell their own stories, in their own words.
Olivia is a BAFTA and RTS nominated documentary producer. Her career spans both development and production, working across singles and flagship series for documentary production companies, including Films of Record, The Garden, Minnow Films and Raw. Olivia’s most recent credits include developing and producing the BAFTA nominated BBC Two film David Harewood: Psychosis & Me and producing across the latest series of 24 Hours in Police Custody, for Channel 4. Olivia’s passion and interests lie in bold character-led documentaries, with plenty of grit, heart and layered storytelling. She's also passionate about championing under-represented voices on and off screen.
Aodh Breathnach is Producer and Director with an interest in films that portray a sense of hope and empower disadvantaged communities. He has directed on various series including BBC One’s Ambulance, BBC Two’s DNA Family Secrets and BBC Three’s Hard Up and The Line, both of which he helped develop in his hometown. Aodh also produced Sudden Death: My Sister’s Silent Killer for BBC Three.
Sophie is passionate about making documentaries that explore complex and sensitive subjects, with an original perspective. She has worked on multiple first time series and has received development funding from Channel 4 and BBC Current Affairs for her ideas. Sophie's recent producing credits include BBC One’s The Met: Policing London and BBC Three’s Fighting the Power: Britain After George Floyd. She also worked as a DV Director on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E and the BAFTA nominated series on adult literacy for Channel 4, The Write Offs, led by Sandi Toksvig.
Source BBC Three
July 29, 2021 5:04am ET by BBC Three