A new doc director competition, Northern Docs, has been launched to encourage emerging directors from the north of England.

Northern Docs is launching with a BBC talent development scheme for budding doc makers based in the region. An open call for short form ideas, from those without a directing credit from a national broadcaster, has been announced.

A shortlist of six finalists will receive mentoring and input on their projects and two successful applicants will have the chance to get their ideas made and shown on BBC Three. The deadline for proposals is October 12.

Northern Docs will be holding an industry panel event at Home in Manchester on September 25th to give more details of the scheme, with input and guidance from BBC Commissioners on what ideas work best for the BBC Three audience. Additional information is also available on the Northern Docs website (www.northerndocs.org.uk)

Modelled on the Scottish Documentary Institute, Northern Docs is designed to help grow talent in the region.
The initiative was developed by Manchester film maker, Mike Todd, who has been an active advocate for greater support for doc film makers in the North.

Todd said: “Despite the undoubted success stories that exist, there remain real structural challenges for documentary storytellers who seek to build a career outside London. We’re hoping that Northern Docs can help support and nurture talent and improve the documentary eco-system that exists in this part of the country.”

Speaking of their support for the initiative, the BBC’s Head of Factual Alison Kirkham said: “The BBC is committed to diversity in all its forms and it is important to us that our programmes represent on and off screen voices from around the UK. I’m really excited about embracing this opportunity to support the next generation of filmmakers in the North of England. ”

Northern Docs is also being supported by the University of Bolton, who will provide a home for the organisation and offer administrative and organisational support.

Jon Creamer

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