BBC and NFTS work together to put new documentary talent on TV
The BBC is awarding development deals to three National Film and
Television School (NFTS) documentary filmmakers, it was announced
The BBC and NFTS – two great British institutions both renowned for
finding exciting new talent – established the development deal to
bring the inspiring new visions of young filmmakers to the screen.
Now in its fourth year, it sees the brightest new documentary
talent from the NFTS being fostered by the experience and expertise
of the BBC.
Richard Klein, the BBC's Head of Independents Commissioning,
Knowledge, announced the 2008 recipients at the NFTS Industry Show
at the National Film Theatre on Wednesday 5 March.
documentary filmmakers to benefit are Leon Dean, Luke Sewell and
Their work impressed selection panellists Richard
Klein, Krishan Arora (Independents Executive for BBC Vision),
Charlotte Moore and Kate Beetham (Executive Producers,
The development deal provides funding for the
graduates to work with independent production companies and BBC
Factual executives to develop their ideas further.
Congratulating the recipients, NFTS Director Nik Powell said: "In
the last few weeks there have been three authored documentaries
written, directed and often also produced and crewed by recent
graduates of the NFTS in major BBC strands – Storyville and
"This demonstrates to us and the BBC just how
successful this arrangement is."
Krishan Arora of the BBC added: "These deals will allow NFTS
graduates to learn from experienced TV executives about developing
documentaries for television, and to get a chance to put their
ideas to the acid test of BBC commissioning.
"It's a highly
competitive field but this 'on-the-job' training will hopefully
equip the students well for their future filmmaking careers."
Dick Fontaine, the Head of the Documentary at the NFTS, commented:
"These BBC deals are great for us, of course, but even more
valuable is the weight the BBC is putting behind the series
Wonderland, not only supporting new authored films but leading the
audience to them."
Leon Dean expressed his delight, saying: "Being awarded a BBC
development deal is a tremendous opportunity to build my skills as
a filmmaker and work with the company responsible for some of the
greatest documentaries. Thank you BBC!"
A thrilled Luke Sewell said: "I'm over the moon to have been awarded
a BBC development deal. It's such a fantastic opportunity for a
graduate of the NFTS. I can't wait to get started with my project."
Ilian Metev was equally excited and had this to say about his
award: "I am very grateful for the BBC's faith in my project and
truly inspired to embark on this new journey."
Previous recipients include 2005 graduate Daniel Vernon whose film,
The Man Who Loved Sherlock Holmes, was made under the deal and was
broadcast by the BBC on Boxing Day in 2005.
Daniel has continued to
make ratings-winning programmes for the BBC – most recently The Man
Who Eats Badgers And Other Strange Tales From Bodmin Moor and The
92-Year-Old Danger Junkie, both shown earlier this year as part of
BBC Two's Wonderland strand.
Says Daniel: "The development deal was a really good start for me
after graduating from the NFTS – it gave me a chance and the space
to continue pursuing my own ideas.
"Most importantly, it helped put
me in touch with commissioning editors where I was able to directly
pitch ideas. Following the two films for the Wonderland strand we
are now planning future projects."
Notes to Editors
The National Film and Television School (www.nfts.co.uk) is the
UK's leading centre of excellence for education in film and
television programme making.
Its postgraduate-post experience
courses are the product of a unique partnership between Government
and the film and television industry, many of whose members teach
on its courses and advise on curriculum development, ensuring that
the school stays relevant to the industry's present and future
Among its many distinguished alumni are Nick Broomfield, who
pioneered a powerful new documentary genre – the filmmaker as
provocateur, BAFTA-winning directors David Yates (Harry Potter And
The Order Of The Phoenix), and Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane);
screenwriter Ashley Pharoah, co-creator of Life On Mars and Ashes
To Ashes; Oscar-winning composer Dario Marianelli (Atonement);
cinematographer Roger Deakins (No Country For Old Men) and Oscar-winning creator of Wallace And Gromit, animator Nick Park CBE.
NFTS is a Skillset Screen and Media Academy.
About the development deal
The BBC Factual/National Film and Television Deal was set up by Nik
Powell, Director of the NFTS, with BBC Factual & Learning, as a bridge
to the industry for graduating documentary students.
the NFTS get the chance to work with the BBC; for the BBC it forms
part of their commitment to developing new talent.
The deal, now in its fourth year, is open to the graduating
documentary students from the NFTS who submit proposals for the BBC
The BBC selects which filmmakers they want to develop
and signs a development agreement with the graduates concerned.
recipients of the deal benefit from the input of top BBC executives
and executive producers from independent production companies.
There is more information about the successful filmmakers in the PDF on the right-hand side of this page.