This film, featuring interviews with commissioning editors Claire Sillery and Jack Bootle, kicks off a series of films – The Televisual Factual Films – for factual producers and filmmakers.

In this film, commissioning editors Claire Sillery and Jack Bootle discuss this year’s crop of Grierson Award nominations and expand on what BBC is looking for from factual filmmakers.

“The question for me now is how do I keep serving an audience who are intelligent, who are informed, but who really want to know more….If you look at Extinction: The Facts or if you look at my recent documentary with Paul Merson about the gambling industry, the ripple effects of that film have been really quite phenomenal. It’s been raised in Parliament.” Jack Bootle Head of Science and Natural History, BBC

“I think if you look at Marian Mohamed’s film about Digga D, that’s finding a story which really appeals to the young audience. It didn’t get a massive audience, but it got a really specific audience who the BBC do not [always] serve. And they came to iPlayer for that film, which is really important.” Claire Sillery Head of Documentary Commissioning, Content, BBC

Televisual Factual Films is a new series of open access films to support the UK factual production community. Televisual has produced films hearing from factual commissioners from across the major platforms that fund UK factual content.

The films are intended as an alternative to yet more Zoom recordings. Running from between ten to 18 minutes, these concise films provide the business and emotional intelligence to support Indies in their creative development and pitches.

The Televisual Factual Films have all been shot two-camera with professional crews (from Procam Take 2 and Run VT) and have been edited as if for broadcast (at Clear Cut and Sky Production Services) with illustrative show clips to make them concise, informative and above all watchable.

Accompanying the films is a new magazine Televisual Factual Briefing with all the headline information Indies might want to make sense of the UK commissioning landscape. The magazine was sent to all Televisual subscribers with the Winter issue and is also available as a free, open access digital e-zine here –

We have a comprehensive line-up of films coming up and expect to be posting up to ten films before Christmas:

Alf Lawrie on Channel 4’s factual slate and what works on the channel

Channel 4’s Shaminder Nahal explores specialist factual and documentary requirements

A+E NetworksDan Korn outlines what he’s looking for from Indies both large and small for Sky History and Crime and Investigation

Sky’s Poppy Dixon cover all of the Sky factual genres with Barney Shingleton looking at Indie funding

Simon Downing covers Discovery UK’s unique platform requirements

LucyWillis talks across the Channel 5 slate and Paramount+

Jo Clinton-Davis shares ITV’s specific needs

And Hilary Rosen walks us through UKTV’s factual range

The Televisual Factual Films are all being posted on and will all be open access and don’t require payment or even registration.

Jon Creamer

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