Fremantle has appointed BBC Storyville commissioning editor Mandy Chang as its Global Head of Documentaries to push for growth in high-end factual production.

Reporting to the Group COO Andrea Scrosati, Chang will oversee the strategy and creation of Fremantle’s new factual division.

Chang has been Storyville Commissioning Editor since 2017. While there she has delivered more than 85 feature docs to festival, cinema and TV and iPlayer including The Fourth Estate, Maiden, The Cleaners, The Mole: Infiltrating North Korea, The Trial of Ratko Mladic, One Child Nation, Welcome to Chechnya, The Night Notre Dame Burned, Pepe the Frog, Whirlybird, Into the Storm The Hijacker who Vanished: The Mystery of DB Cooper, Collective and The Mole Agent.

Prior to Storyville, she was Head of Arts at ABC TV and Acting Head of Non-Scripted TV at ABC. An award-winning documentary producer/director and filmmaker, she has won many nominations and awards including an Emmy for her films. Her work has spanned a range of factual genres – music, arts, history, observational, polemical & biographical.

On her appointment, Andrea Scrosati, Group COO, Fremantle, commented: “Mandy is an incredible creative talent, her experience and leadership as both a producer and commissioner will be key to Fremantle’s very ambitious plans to scale-up our global factual capabilities. Whilst we are already producing and distributing a growing slate of documentaries, we want to invest to do more and we are excited to work with Mandy who will help us design and execute this ambitious plan.”

Mandy Chang, incoming Global Head of Documentaries added: “Leading BBC Storyville and international acquisitions to bring hundreds of hours of the best international documentaries and factual programming to the BBC’s platforms has been deeply fulfilling and a privilege. I am now really looking forward to a new challenge, working with Andrea and taking up this ambitious new role at Fremantle. This is a unique opportunity to create a division of world-class documentary films and series from around the globe, that unites all the experience and knowledge gained throughout my career.”

Fremantle has already announced a number of new premium documentaries produced by its teams around the world. Working with Richard Brown’s Passenger, Fremantle is set to chart the launch and inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) in a landmark documentary series directed by up-and-coming South African director Tebogo Malope. In the UK, Fremantle’s Naked is working on Planet Sex (Hulu and BBC Three) which will see Cara Delevingne front a series exploring the biggest questions in human sexuality. In Italy, Fremantle is set to launch its original series Veleno: The Town of Lost Children with Amazon Prime Video, chronicling the true events of the ‘Satanic Panic’ phenomenon. In Germany, UFA (with Wild Blue Media) have produced an epic documentary series which follows the most urgent scientific expedition to undertake crucial climate research, Arctic Drift and recently announced the creation of UFA Documentaries a division fully focused on production of high-end docs.

Fremantle also has number of high-end documentary acquisitions on its 2021 slate, including the urgent water scarcity documentary Day Zero, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor; Samuel L. Jackson-fronted seminal series Enslaved; How it Feels to Be Free executive produced by Alicia Keys, and recently announced titles Oscar Peterson: Black and White and Hulu three-part docuseries Von Dutch.

Chang will remain in her current post until early August. Recruitment for the Commissioning Editor of Storyville post will begin in due course.

Jon Creamer