Born Survivors returns to BBC Three with pioneering multi-platform project
BBC Three launches a major new multi-platform current affairs project which combines a season of hard-hitting TV documentaries with a series of short online films made by young people who have had difficult upbringings.
The television offering for the second Born Survivors season will consist of four one-hour documentaries due to transmit at the beginning of January 2009.
The documentaries – which tackle issues such as anorexia, underage drinking, drugs and parenting – tell the extraordinary stories of young people surviving whatever life has to throw at them.
The documentaries will be accompanied by online minisodes – two to four-minute self-contained versions – which will also be embeddable and shareable online.
Inspired by the forthcoming broadcast season, there will also be nine short films made exclusively for the web – whose themes range from homelessness and growing up in care, to cancer and gang life.
New documentaries in the season:
Kizzy, who featured in the first series of Born Survivors, has been a phenomenon, both on TV and online. Millions of people have been gripped by her tale of teenage pregnancy and thousands have watched the three-minute Kizzy minisode online.
Kizzy: Sex, Prams And Exams follows her journey to independence as she turns 16. Juggling motherhood and school, Kizzy is now faced with the decision whether to leave home and gain independence or remain living with her parents who have been so supportive.
Kizzy will have her own video diary which she will update two weeks prior to transmission and four weeks after transmission, as part of the online proposition.
Vodka, Homework And Me follows a group of young people as they reveal the extent of their alcohol abuse and the effect it is having on their lives.
We join them as they embark on an extraordinary scheme that has helped turn even the hardest of underage drinkers away from the bottle.
We'll follow them as they leave their parents behind, to join the The Glaciere Project, which sees them spend time at onboard a tall ship, where booze is banned.
It is believed that in 1 in 20 young people suffer from an eating disorder.
My 22 Stone Dad And Skinny Me explores anorexia from inside the family unit as teenager Emma tries to overcome her eating disorder by confronting hard and painful issues to do with her dad Grant's excessive weight gain.
My Life On The Game (working title) follows the life of one girl who works the streets as a prostitute to fund her drug habits.
With extraordinary access, she speaks openly and honestly about her addiction to heroin and what her life was like before prostitution.
In a pioneering project, BBC Three has teamed up with Media Trust to train young people to produce and direct the short documentaries which will be then made available online at bbc.co.uk/bornsurvivors and through the BBC's channels on sites such as YouTube and Bebo in December.
Nine young disadvantaged people – aged between 16 and 22 – have been taught how to use a camera and, with the professional support of BBC Current Affairs mentors, trained through Media Trust's Youth Mentoring Scheme, will tell their own stories of survival in an unmediated, yet high quality, way.
The series of films, We Are Born Survivors, will exist independently and will be embeddable to provide the audience with a real sense of ownership.
It will also broadcast on the programme Charge on Community Channel – a youth platform dedicated to showcasing dynamic socially engaging content made by young people.
Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC Three, said: "Born Survivors is at the heart of BBC Three's Current Affairs output.
"It's a fully joined-up multi-platform project, combining thought-provoking TV documentaries with short-form online content generated by the BBC Three audience."
Nick Cohen, Multiplatform Commissioning Executive, said: "These online films have been a true collaboration between the BBC and the young people themselves – and the results give us a unique new perspective on real lives in Britain today."
The Born Survivors documentaries were commissioned by Clive Edwards, Commissioning Editor, BBC Current Affairs.
Sarah Waldron is the Series Producer and Samantha Anstiss is the Executive Producer, BBC Current Affairs.
The online content was commissioned by Nick Cohen, Multiplatform Commissioning Executive, and Martin Wilson, Head of Multiplatform and Development, Current Affairs.
Notes to Editors
The Born Survivors season will transmit on BBC Three in January 2009.
The Born Survivors website will launch in early December.
In 2007 BBC Three Born Survivors was shortlisted for Broadcast Digital channel award for best multi-platform project.
Media Trust is a charity that works in partnership with the media industry to build effective communications for the charity and voluntary sectors.
Media Trust's Youth Mentoring scheme is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and links organisations working with disadvantaged young people aged 13 to 25 with media professionals who act as mentors on media projects, sharing their practical skills and expertise.
2.6 million watched the first Born Survivors season in December 2007, based on the number of people watching for at least three minutes. The minisodes have been watched online over 78,000 times.
BBC Three is committed to becoming Britain's most ambitious multi-platform network – combining television and the web into a single, integrated offering.