BBC Three, BBC England and Northern Film + Media are launching a new documentary initiative in the North East of England.

For the initiative, independent production companies with established links in the North East of England will be invited to submit documentary ideas that reflect the life experiences of 16-24 year olds in the region. After a selection process, at least one Indie will be commissioned to produce a Factual documentary for BBC Three and BBC England.

Since beginning the creative partnerships with Nations teams and screen agencies, BBC Three has worked with 29 regionally based indies and commissioned over 12 titles including The Fast and the Farmer-ish, Hot Cakes and Flight Club.

Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three says:  “These creative partnerships have been really successful and are vital for BBC Three. For this new North East partnership, we’re looking for powerful, single documentary ideas that are really rooted in the region but have a wide appeal for youth audiences across the UK.”

Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for BBC England says: “BBC England continues to work closely with BBC Three to provide a platform for the diverse, surprising and local voices of people across our nation. The North East is a fabulous story telling location, full of talent and I can’t wait to see what fresh perspectives this creative partnership delivers.”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive, Northern Film + Media says: “We know we have great talent and unheard voices in our region and this is a fantastic opportunity for Indies to work with the BBC with support from Northern Film + Media for North East Based production companies to get our stories on screen.”

Expressions of interest will be accepted from the 1 March until the 18 April.  After the closing date, BBC Three and BBC England will shortlist up to four indies to share further details of their ideas via BBC Pitch, prior to entering into a period of paid development and project scoping. They will be invited to pitch in front of a team of BBC England and BBC Three commissioners in July 2022. After the pitching session, BBC England and BBC Three teams will select at least one Indie to produce a 30 minute documentary film, to be TX’d on both Network Television (i.e. BBC Three’s linear channel and a BBC England slot on BBC One) and iPlayer.

The full commissioning brief, how to apply, selection criteria and the timeline are available via the BBC Commissioning website here.

Jon Creamer

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