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Six new First Cut commissions

Six new First Cut commissions
News
Pippa Considine
20 June 2013

Commissioning editor Lina Prestwood has commissioned six more 60-minute films for the First Cut strand to air later this year on Channel 4.

For the first time this year, First Cut films increased to 60 minutes and moved to a post-watershed slot. This was to allow greater freedom for up-and-coming directors to produce more ambitious work and showcase their storytelling and film-making skills.

"With previous First Cut films, such as Scientologists at War, airing at 9pm and rating well and Why Am I Still Single? included as part of the Mating Season, the strand is proving to be a genuine launch pad for a new generation of confident and exciting directors," says Prestwood. "This next batch is different yet again with a focus on experimentation with form, narrative and authorship."

The forthcoming First Cut films will see Alex Brooker (Paralympics, The Last Leg) in Alex Brooker: Man V Fat investigate the growing cultural phenomenon of male obsession with weight and body image as he embarks on his own personal weight loss plan. Produced by Mentorn Media.

Missing
(w/t), directed and produced by Tom Pullen through Raw, will reveal the human stories at the heart of real missing person’s incidents through the testimonies of missing people themselves.

Pay Day (w/t) is a performance film about a generation of young twenty-something’s in Britain blighted by debt. It is directed by Fred Scott and Nick Davies through Pulse.

Bad Boys (w/t), which recently won the Student Documentary Award at the 20th Sheffield Doc/Fest, tells the story of young adolescent boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties and have been sent to attend a specialist boarding school only for boys. It is directed by Marc Williamson through Minnow Films.

My Baggy Body (w/t) follows three people who have been left with extreme amounts of excess skin as a result of weight loss and now can’t get help from the NHS. Directed by Anna Dickeson through Blakeway.

Finally, one single man and one single woman turn detective on each other’s love lives in an attempt to answer that all important question, Why Am I Still Single? and will be part of Channel 4’s Mating Season, looking at Modern Dating: It’s Complicated. The film is directed by Juliet Riddell through Seneca.

By uncovering the behavioural patterns and emotional make-up of a total stranger they will get a fresh perspective and insight into the reasons behind their own dating disasters and wrong turns when it comes to finding love.

Prestwood says, "having commissioned two new and very different directors at Sheffield this year at the new-look pitch, the door is still very much open for First Cut pitches and we look forward to hearing from directors and indies.”

Films for the First Cut run that will air on Channel 4 later this year include:

ALEX BROOKER: MAN V FAT
Alex Brooker will look into the growing cultural phenomenon of male obsession with weight. In 2012 it was revealed that 80% of men were concerned about body shape and a report which followed in February this year by the NHS and Social Care Information Centre stated that 65% of British men are overweight. Alex has struggled with his weight since he was a teenager and now wants to lose weight ahead of his summer holiday. With only two months to lose his target of two stone he will embark on a strict calorie-controlled diet and fitness regime in an attempt to finally get in shape. Sharing his progress with his friends and family, he will also blog and tweet about his experiences. He will explore various aspects of the current male weight loss phenomenon from extreme diets to fat burning pills, from body hacking online to body sculpting in the gym and finally the rising trend for men to resort to cosmetic surgery.
Production Company: Mentorn Media; Director: Eddie Hutton-Mills; Executive Producer: Emma Morgan

MISSING (w/t)
One person is reported missing in Britain every two minutes with 90% of them returning within 48 hours. Yet every year over 2000 people disappear and never come home. Behind these statistics, this film aims to reveal the  human stories at the heart of real missing person’s incidents through the testimonies of missing people themselves. Alongside their emotive accounts, the film also meets families whose lives have been turned upside down by the disappearance of a loved one. They talk about the struggle to cope with not knowing what’s happened or if they’ll ever return. Throughout all their stories, we also meet the people whose job it is to find these missing Britons in the hope of bringing them back home.
Production Company: Raw; Producer and Director: Tom Pullen; Executive Producer: Tim Wardle

PAYDAY (w/t)
This performance documentary looks at stories from a generation of young people in Britain blighted by debt. Payday is everyone’s favourite day of the month and this is the starting point as the film delves into the finances and wallets of a diverse cast of twenty-somethings. From a range of different economic backgrounds and all living in an area of London renowned for its financial disparity and home to a cultural melting pot, this film aims to dissect the reality of modern money habits, challenges and dilemmas facing Generation Y. Unique performance elements will be incorporated into each of the character’s narrative to enable us to explore and delve deeper into our contributors' own feelings, fears and dreams. The documentary aims to lift the lid on life in modern Britain today from the perspective of the young Brits.
Production Company: Pulse; Directors: Fred Scott & Nick Davies; Executive Producer: Ursula Macfarlane

BAD BOYS (w/t)
A film about a group of young boys entering adolescence whose hard knocks in life have led them to a specialist boarding school for boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties. In a world full of rules, the boys kick back against authority and assert their often colourful personalities. Each with their own problems to overcome, from anger management to illiteracy, we follow them as they confront themselves and try to grow from misfits into young men. Shot observationally from the boy’s perspective, we discover that being excluded from the mainstream system doesn’t stop you from having a fighting chance in life.
Production Company: Minnow Films; Director: Marc Williamson; Executive Producer: Ruth Kelly & Morgan Matthews

MY BAGGY BODY
Many people who lose dramatic amounts of weight after bariatric surgery or dieting believe it will be the answer to their prayers, a slimmer figure, confidence and better health. Yet the unfortunate reality of extreme weight loss is that it often brings with it a deeply distressing side-effect which is excess skin - and lots of it. The 30-fold increase in bariatric surgery in the last decade has inevitably left thousands of people with excess skin, but with NHS cuts restricting subsequent cosmetic surgery, people have been left in body limbo. Not happy with the body they had, nor the body they now have, this documentary will chart the stories of three people who after drastic weight loss, have been left with shocking amounts of ‘loose skin.’ They all feel as though they are carrying a shameful secret hidden underneath their clothes but for the first time, these characters will open up their lives as we see and hear what it is like to live with a ‘baggy body’ and what can be done about it.
Production Company: Blakeway TV; Director: Anna Dickeson; Executive Producer: Sarah Murch

WHY AM I STILL SINGLE?
One single man and one single woman turn detective on each other’s love lives in an attempt to answer the question, Why Am I Still Single? Naomi and Lex are both in their 30’s and everyone around them seems to be getting married or having children. They both thought they would at least be settled in long-term relationships by now but like for the majority of singletons in the UK, looking for love is more difficult than it seems. Before they’ve met, Naomi and Lex are going to uncover the most intimate details of each other’s lives. They will interrogate exes on the real reason for their split, delve into each other’s childhoods and read their old teenage love letters. Both of them will attempt to discover how each other’s behaviours and attitudes are sabotaging their search for love. By scrutinising a stranger’s relationship history, they’ll come to reflect on their own reasons for still being single in their 30’s. And when Naomi and Lex do finally meet up, each will reveal why they think the other person is single and what they have to do to remedy it. A few weeks later we return to see if confronting the truth about their relationship failures and following each other’s instructions has helped them to make a change.
Production Company: Seneca Productions; Director: Juliet Riddell; Executive Producers: Neil Crombie and Joe Evans

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