BBC Three commissions Fresh documentaries


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A programme following aspiring knights at an international joust is among new documentaries commissioned by BBC Three.

The six films have been ordered through the channel's Fresh scheme for new directors, and focus on subjects such as actors with Down's syndrome and the lives of online sex workers.

Zai Bennett, controller of BBC Three, said he was "extremely proud" of the Fresh scheme, which started in 2008 and has produced critically acclaimed documentaries such as My Brother the Islamist, Stormchaser: The Butterfly and the Tornado, and Jamie - Drag Queen at 16.

"We're all about nurturing and mentoring new British talent both on and off the screen at BBC Three and nothing demonstrates this more than the Fresh strand," Bennett said.

Emma Swain, controller of Knowledge commissioning, added that Fresh "continues to blaze a trail of originality across the channel".

The six hour-long documentaries were commissioned by Elliot Reed and will air in early 2014.

Earlier this summer, Fresh launched a sister website, known as Fresh Online, inviting aspiring documentary-makers to submit short films.

The new Fresh commissions include:

  • Knight Club: follows a group of novice modern-day British knights in the international Battle of the Nations joust in France. Produced and directed by Matt Ralph, executive produced by Andy Rowe (Endemol)
  • Growing Up Down's (working title): features a theatre group of young adults with Down's syndrome as they put on a touring production of Hamlet. Produced, directed and filmed by Will Jessop, executive produced by Paul Woolf (Maverick Television) and Christo Hird (Dartmouth Films)
  • Webcam Girls (w/t): focuses on three young women who perform web-cam sex sessions for money. Produced, directed and developed by Matthew Carter, executive produced by Ravinder Chahal (Special Edition Films)
  • Does Skunk Make You Crazy? (w/t): 23-year-old journalist Jake Hanrahan, who suffered from cannabis-induced psychosis at the age of 14, explores the effects of the drug and its manufacture. Produced and directed by Charlotte Rodrigues, executive produced by Jaimie D'Cruz (Acme Films)
  • School Of Rock (w/t): features the Academy of Contemporary Music in Surrey where young people can study to become rock stars. Directed by Kieran Carruthers, produced by Pete Kirtley, executive produced by Southan Morris (Storyvault Films)
  • Underage and Over the Limit (w/t): follows youth workers dealings with underage drinkers in north-east England, where more children aged 11-15 have drunk alcohol than anywhere else in the country. Produced and directed by Louis Grover, executive produced by Mira King (Special Edition Films)

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