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24 September 2014
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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 last night.


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.


The new documentary filmmakers to benefit are Leon Dean, Luke Sewell and Ilian Metev.


Their work impressed selection panellists Richard Klein, Krishan Arora (Independents Executive for BBC Vision), Charlotte Moore and Kate Beetham (Executive Producers, Documentaries).


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 Wonderland.


"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 ( 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 needs.


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.


The 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.


Graduates from 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 to consider.


The BBC selects which filmmakers they want to develop and signs a development agreement with the graduates concerned.


The 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.







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More information about the successful filmmakers is available in PDF format. You may need Adobe Acrobat software to read PDF files which can be obtained free from the
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Category: BBC; Factual & Arts TV
Date: 06.03.2008
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