BBC Storyville announces new films for BBC Three and BBC Four and unveils a new look

BBC Storyville's Commissioning Editor Mandy Chang unveiled a fresh new look for the award-winning documentary strand at Sheffield Doc/Fest on Sunday. BBC Storyville will also, for the first time, be bringing films to BBC Three - alongside titles for BBC Four - in order to bring high-quality documentaries to an even wider TV audience.

Published: 9 June 2019
This collaboration with Storyville provides a fantastic opportunity to broaden our documentary offering and bring some of the best films from around the globe to BBC Three.
— Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three

BBC Four will continue to be the home for Storyville on linear TV, with films that have a contemporary edge for an audience who are seeking to dive deeper into subjects, and themes that deal with today’s most pressing issues. Moving forward, BBC Four will be scheduling more mini-seasons of films that are centred around common themes, alongside landmark single-subject films at 9pm. The first of the mini-seasons will be three films focused on corruption.

Storyville on BBC Three will be about immersing young audiences in subjects and issues that matter the most to them and providing exciting international stories that are authentic and relatable. Storyville on BBC Three will be launching with three films, including the Oscar-nominated and multi-award-winning Minding The Gap.

The previous logo for Storyville, which has been in place for around decade, has been replaced by a new distinctive, contemporary logo that will work for BBC Storyville documentaries on BBC Three and BBC Four. It is more reflective of the edgy, thought-provoking, cinematic films that BBC Storyville is notorious for bringing to television audiences free to air.

Mandy Chang, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville, says: “It’s incredibly exciting to unveil our new look for BBC Storyville. After ten years, we felt it was time to modernise the look and feel of BBC Storyville so we are more in line with the contemporary, authoritative films we bring to our audience.

"BBC Four continues to be a brilliant channel partner, broadcasting fearless films with the power to provoke, shock, surprise and engage us emotionally. They allow us to be a trusted partner for world-class filmmakers in bringing the globe’s best feature documentaries to life, not only for TV audiences but also to cinemas and world-class festivals.

"BBC Three is an opportunity to broaden the range of subjects and documentaries we are able to bring to the screen with authentic, relatable stories from beyond the UK to a younger and more diverse audience. The great thing is that we’re able to grow the BBC Storyville portfolio so lovers of feature docs have even more films to watch online, wherever they are.”

Storyville on BBC Three will be launching with three films. They include Bing Liu's Minding The Gap (pictured above), an Oscar-nominated documentary which follows three young skateboarding friends from the US Rust Belt as they face the difficulties of growing up in a deprived town and confront adult responsibilities.

Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl is an intimate portrait of British singer-songwriter Kate Nash and follows her journey over several years in her pursuit to remain a creatively and financially independent artist. After being dropped by a major label, Kate learns (the hard way) how to navigate the music industry as a self-sufficient businesswoman and creative. The film provides a unique insight into the challenges an independent artist goes through, and the resilience required to live and create art on their own terms.

The third film for BBC Three is Roll Red Roll, a true-crime thriller that looks into a high-school sexual assault at a pre-season football party of a teenage girl. Blogger Alex Goddard pieces together the details of the crime through footage and photos that made their way onto YouTube, alongside graphic accounts of the events on social media to uncover both the perpetrators and the widespread culture of complicity that enabled them. The ensuing trial, which made national headlines, cut to the very heart of nationwide debates about rape culture.

Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three, says: "Documentaries have been a key staple of the BBC Three schedule and we know our audience loves them. This collaboration with Storyville provides a fantastic opportunity to broaden our documentary offering and bring some of the best films from around the globe to BBC Three. It’s another string to our bow and these first three films offer a glimpse of what is to come: world-class filmmaking and incredibly powerful, moving stories."

Later this year, BBC Four will be showing a mini-season of Storyville films that focus on corruption. Inside Lehman Brothers: The Whistle Blowers recounts the personal story of Matthew Lee, a worried accounting executive at Lehman Brothers who began to notice serious financial irregularities in the company's practices, and hears from other whistle blowers involved in the bank’s downfall.

On The President’s Orders is the story of President Duterte's campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines, told with unprecedented and intimate access to both sides of the war - the Manila police, and an ordinary family from the Calocan slums.

The PM, The Playboy And The Wolf Of Wall Street is the story of the world’s biggest white collar-heist, which saw a Malaysian wealth fund looted of US$3.5 billion and involved government corruption at the highest level, abuse of power and international money laundering.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, says: "Storyville continues to go from strength to strength, nurturing and supporting the best international film-makers with unmatched commitment to our talent, which shows in our upcoming slate of incisive, passionate and utterly singular films."

Additionally, BBC Four will show new single landmark 9pm Story films. They include One Child Nation, a U.S. Grand Jury Prize Documentary-winner which unmasks the tightly held and hidden secrets of how the government enforced their One-Child Policy and explores its devastating effect. whilst Maiden is the inspirational story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24 year-old charter boat cook, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld is an investigation by Danish director and provocateur Mads Brügger, attempting to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As his investigation closes in, he discovers a crime far worse than the murder of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Notes to Editors
The new Storyville identity was created by Glasgow-based creative agency D8

BW

Minding The Gap: An American Skateboarding Story
First- time filmmaker Bing Liu’s Oscar nominated documentary Minding The Gap is the coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown, hit hard by decades of recession.

In his quest to understand why he and his friends ran away from home as teenagers, Bing tracks 23 year-old Zack, as he becomes a young dad; and 17 year-old Keire, as he lands his first job. As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend and Keire’s inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing explores the gap between fathers and sons.

Pictured above: Keire and Jack

  • Director: Bing Liu
  • Producer: Bing Liu, Diane Quon
  • A coproduction between Kar-Temquin Films, Ameri-can Documentary | POV and Independent Television Service (ITVS)
  • Duration: 1x100

A High School Rape Goes Viral: Roll Red Roll
This film is a true-crime thriller that goes behind the headlines to uncover the deep-seated and social media-fueled 'boys will be boys' culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America.

Like many small towns across the country, Steubenville nestled in a valley in eastern Ohio, lives and dies by its high school football team. So when a teenage girl was sexually assaulted at a pre-season football party in 2012, no one came forward with information.

True-crime blogger Alex Goddard set out to uncover the truth, piecing together the details of the crime through cell phone footage and photos that made their way to YouTube, as well as a nearly minute-by-minute account of events on social media. In the process, she uncovered both the perpetrators and the entire culture of complicity that enabled them. The ensuing trial, which made national headlines, cut to the very heart of nationwide debates about rape culture.

Director: Nancy Schwartzman
Producers: Nancy Schwartzman, Jessica Devaney, Steven Lake
Production company: Sunset Park Pictures production.
Duration: 1x80

Kate Nash: Underestimate The Girl
“This is a matter of life and death to me because making music keeps me alive and being in the music industry has almost killed me,” concludes British singer-songwriter Kate Nash, early in the film.

She refers to a predominantly white, male music industry that made a lot of money out of her, overworked her, and dumped her when she started making music on her own terms. Nash self-funds her third album, organizes a successful world tour and relocates to Los Angeles to seek more opportunities, including acting. She’s doing it for her music, and for her fans. However what this creative powerhouse didn’t foresee was that even people she trusted would stab her in the back.

This intimate portrait follows Nash over several years as she attempts to remain creatively independent while still being able to pay the rent. Self-recorded video diaries, recording sessions and performances provide insight into the challenges she faces. A testament to the struggles and resilience of the independent artist, Kate Nash: Underestimate The Girl follows one woman into hard-won maturity as a businesswoman and a creative spirit, proving that as a young woman you can live - and create - on your own terms.

  • Director: Amy Goldstein
  • Producer: Anouchka van Riel, Amy Goldstein
  • Production Company: SPAN Productions
  • Duration: 1x90

BBC Four: Corruption season

On The President’s Orders
The searing story of President Duterte's bloody campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines, told with unprecedented and intimate access to both sides of the war - the Manila police, and an ordinary family from the Calocan slums.

Shot in the style of a thriller, this observational film combines the look and feel of a narrative feature film, with a real life journalistic investigation into a campaign of killings. The film uncovers a murky world where crime, drugs and politics meet in a deathly embrace - and reveal that although the police have been publicly ordered to stop extra-judicial killings, the deaths continue.

  • Directors: James Jones and Olivier Sarbil
  • Exec Producer: Dan Edge
  • Production Company: Mongoose Films
  • Duration: 1x60

The PM, The Playboy And The Wolf Of Wall Street
A Malaysian wealth fund is looted of US$3.5 billion. It is the world’s biggest white-collar heist involving government corruption at the highest level, abuse of power and international money laundering.

With little to go on, dogged investigative reporters from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Hollywood Reporter retrace the dirty money, via real estate deals and movie financing including 'The Wolf Of Wall Street', back to the top echelons of the Malaysian government. The Prime Minister and his inner circle are implicated, assets are frozen, money is seized and the Malaysian people fight back.

  • Director: Sam Hobkinson & Havana Marking
  • Producer: Mike Lerner
  • Production Company: Roast Beef Productions
  • Duration: 1x84

Inside Lehman Brothers: The Whistle Blowers
In autumn 2007, Matthew Lee, a worried accounting executive at Lehman Brothers, began to notice serious financial irregularities in the company's practices. When he refused to approve tens of billions of dollars-worth of suspicious transactions, he was fired.

Six months later Lehman Brothers sank with 631 billion dollars of debt. Lee, who has since emerged as a crucial figure in Lehman's downfall, and other whistleblowers, recount their personal stories of fraud and deception that went right to the top of the bank. Ultimately they paid the price for trying to expose the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

  • Director: Jennifer Deschamps
  • Producer: Ina Fichman, Frederick Lacroix
  • Production Company: ARTE G.E.I.E., Intuitive Pictures, KM Productions
  • Duration: 1x60

Landmark Single Films

One Child Nation
Thirty five years of relentless propaganda and harsh brutal punishments left the Chinese people living in fear of the One-Child Policy. The recently abandoned rule has left the country with an aging population and tens of tens of millions more men than women. Directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang unmask the tightly-held and hidden secrets of how the government enforced their One-Child Policy, and explores its devastating effect.

Wang, a new mother now living in the US, travels back to the rural village she was born in and speaks to the midwives, village leaders and journalists to reveal chilling stories of forced abortions, sterilisation, abandoned babies and state-sponsored kidnappings. Her own family share the grim choices they were forced to make in order to avoid harsh punishments from the state.

With new information on tens of thousand of abandoned and kidnapped children (nearly all of them infant girls), One Child Nation breaks open decades of silence on a vast, unprecedented social experiment that shaped - and destroyed - countless lives.

One Child Nation premiered at Sundance in 2019 and won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.

  • Directors: Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang
  • Producers: Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn
  • A Pumpernickel Films, Motto Pictures and Next Generation Production
  • Duration: 1x85

Cold Case Hammarskjöld
Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As their investigation closes in, they discover a crime far worse than the murder of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In 1961, United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and most of the crew. With the case still unsolved over 50 years later, Danish journalist, filmmaker and provocateur Mads Brügger (The Red Chapel, The Ambassador) leads us down an investigative rabbit hole to unearth the truth. Scores of false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews later, Brügger and his sidekick, Swedish Göran Björkdahl, begin to sniff out something more monumental than anything they’d initially imagined.

In his signature provocateur style, Brügger becomes both filmmaker and subject, challenging the very nature of truth by 'performing' the role of truth seeker. As Brügger uncovers a major secret that could send shockwaves around the world, we realize that sometimes absurdity and irony are the emboldening ingredients needed to confront what is truly sinister in the world.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld premiered at Sundance in 2019 and won the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary.

  • Director: Mads Brügger
  • Producers: Peter Engel, Andreas Rocksen, Bjarte M. Tveit
  • A Wingman Media, Piraya Film, Laika Film & Television production

Maiden
Maiden is the inspirational story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24 year-old cook on charter boats, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

Tracy’s dream was opposed on all sides: her male competitors thought an all-women crew would never make it, the chauvinistic yachting press took bets on her failure, and potential sponsors rejected her, fearing the girls would die at sea and generate bad publicity.

But Tracy refused to give up: she re-mortgaged her home and bought a second-hand boat, putting everything on the line to ensure the team made it to the start line. With the support of her remarkable crew she went on to shock the yachting world and prove that women are the equal of men.

Maiden premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018 and has screened at every major festival since.

  • Director: Alex Holmes
  • Producer: Victoria Gregory
  • Company: New Black Films
  • Duration: 1x90