Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC) has appointed producer Lisa Marie Russo as Film Fund Executive of the BFI Doc Society Fund.

The BFI announced Doc Society as the delivery partner for documentary in December 2017, awarding them £1 million of National Lottery funding per year to support and develop UK documentary filmmakers.

Russo is an experienced film producer, whose feature documentary credits include Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City (2008), Gillian Wearing’s Self Made (2011), Andrew Kotting’s Swandown (2012) and Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 (2013). She was also a producer on the artist film Abandoned Goods (2014), which won the Golden Leopard at Locarno.

Originally from the US, she moved to the UK in 1994 and produced shorts, television and feature films. In 2009 Russo launched the production company Fly Film, with Kate Ogborn. Since 2015, her company has executive produced 72 short films by young people aged 16-24 for Screen South Ignition Random Acts Network, supported by Arts Council England and Channel 4.

Reporting to Sandra Whipham, Director of Doc Society, and the senior management team, Russo will be charged with backing creative documentary filmmaking across the whole of the UK, as well as working with BFI NETWORK to mentor emerging talent.

Doc Society is currently bringing together a team of three people to help carry this out and has so far appointed  Lynn Nwokorie. Formerly Film Fund Officer at Doc Society, Nwokorie will work alongside Russo to be the first point of contact for filmmakers.

Lisa Marie Russo, Film Fund Executive, BFI Doc Society Fund, says: “I’m psyched to help grow the next generation of UK filmmakers and support the existing community of world-class documentarians. This is a call to arms for filmmakers across the country – audiences need to hear from you. I’m excited to get going as now more than ever we need our creative voices and their diverse, inventive visions.”

Doc Society Director, Sandra Whipham, who previously ran the True Stories international documentary strand at Channel 4, says: “We are thrilled to have Lisa Marie join the team at Doc Society. Her background working with artists and filmmakers as an independent producer and deep commitment to nurturing the next generation of filmmaking talent makes her the ideal candidate to run the BFI-backed programme. As well as the fund and support programme, together, we will be thinking deeply about how this programme can build a more robust, representative and sustainable documentary sector in the UK.”

Staff Reporter

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