Applications open today for aspiring film makers to be part of the next cohort of the BBC’s New Documentary Directors’ Initiative.

The initiative finds and supports the next generation of documentary film makers, giving four participants the opportunity to produce and direct their first long form documentary for BBC Three.

The initiative has had success with a number of award-winning films including Manchester Bomb: Our Story, Abused by My Girlfriend, Why Dad Killed Mum: My Family’s Secret, Grandad, Dementia, and Me and Defending Digga D.

Many alumni from the initiative have moved on to direct on flagship BBC documentary series such as Ambulance and Hospital or on powerful one-off films like The Case of Sally Challen and Me, My Brother and Our Balls.

The BBC has also announced two new BBC Three films from participants in the New Documentary Directors’ Initiative: Sudden Death: My Sister’s Silent Killer from new director Lindsay Konieczny 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 directed by Helen Spooner follows journalist Charlie Webster as she investigates sexual abuse of young athletes.

In addition, the BBC announced a new film directed by initiative alumnus Niamh Kennedy. Niamh directed the award-winning new directors’ film Abused by My Girlfriend and has gone on to direct a number of other projects including Toxic Town: The Corby Poisonings for BBC Two and the forthcoming Joey Essex: Who Am I? (w/t) for BBC Three. Her new film for BBC Two, The Essex Lorry Deaths, tells the story of one of the biggest manslaughter inquiries the UK has ever seen after the discovery of 39 dead Vietnamese migrants in the back of a lorry an Essex industrial park.

Sudden Death: My Sister’s Silent Killer was commissioned by Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries and Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. It is being made by Storyvault Films where the Executive Producer is Danielle Graham, Stewart Prebble and Sam Richards and the Director is Lindsay Konieczny. The Commissioning Editor is Beejal-Maya Patel.

Abused by My Sports Coach was commissioned by Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries and Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. It is being made by Lambent Productions where the Executive Producer is Emma Wakefield and the Director is Helen Spooner. The BBC Commissioning Editors are Beejal-Maya Patel and Emily Smith.

The Essex Lorry Deaths (w/t) was commissioned by Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning Documentaries and Patrick Holland, Channel Controller, BBC Two. It is being made by Expectation where the Executive Producer is Ruth Kelly, the Director is Niamh Kennedy, and the Producer is Jess Austin. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Hamish Fergusson.

Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion says: “The BBC has an important role to play in nurturing new talent and I’m thrilled that the New Directors’ Initiative is opening its doors once again for aspiring film makers. We want to provide opportunities for directing talent to grow their careers and tell the stories that matter to the audience. In addition to the directors who take part in the initiative, I want to ensure we are championing talented new film makers across the BBC, such as directors Angela Byrne (Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn) Tash Gaunt (Leigh-Anne Pinnock: Race, Pop & Power) and Lyttanya Shannon who is directing Subnormal: A British Scandal for BBC Two.”

Beejal-Maya Patel, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries says: “I’m delighted that we are once again opening up applications for the new documentary directors initiative. Getting that first break is so important and to do that with masterclasses and mentoring from leading industry talent gives new directors on the initiative the support they need to make their first film. It also gives them a fantastic calling card to help build careers and I would encourage anyone interested to apply.”

The link for applications is:

Jon Creamer

Share this story

Share Televisual stories within your social media posts.
Be inclusive: is open access without the need to register.
Anyone and everyone can access this post with minimum fuss.