New Talent 2017
BBC announces New Talent Hotlist
BBC Factual announces wide range of new on and off screen talent
Finding and growing new talent is an essential part of what we do in Factual commissioning, whether that is giving the support and space to talented new film-makers to produce their very best work or finding the passionate new experts of the future.Alison Kirkham, Controller, Factual commissioning
The new programmes include The Pacemakers for BBC Two from Selah Hennessey, her first film for TV straight out of film school and Rehab for BBC Three from Phillip Woods, following the success of his first film Chasing Dad.
On screen, four new and up and coming presenters are presenting new series for BBC Two: Chris Jackson, a Professor of Geology from Imperial College undertakes an expedition to one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, alongside a team of scientists, for Jungle Volcano; Arabist, writer and explorer Alice Morrison travels From Here to Timbuktu; and social historians Emma Dabiri and Annie Gray present a new history of confectionery, The Confectioners.
Alison Kirkham, Controller, Factual commissioning says: “Finding and growing new talent is an essential part of what we do in Factual commissioning, whether that is giving the support and space to talented new film-makers to produce their very best work or finding the passionate new experts of the future. From commissioning the first film from Selah Hennessey to helping grow the careers of Philip Woods, Emma Dabiri, Annie Gray and Alice Morrison these new projects demonstrate our commitment to developing new talent and ensuring that we reflect our audience both on and off screen.”
Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two says: “Our audience demands new ways to see and interpret the world, so new talent is not a luxury; it is the lifeblood of the channel. I am truly delighted to announce this range of exciting and diverse new titles for BBC Two.”
Selah Hennessey has been commissioned to make her first film for BBC Two straight out of film school having pitched the film at last year’s Sheffield Documentary Festival. The Pacemakers is a documentary about the extraordinary tenacity and competitiveness of the oldest sprinters on earth, fighting to race in their 90s. Selah's film focuses on a group of nonagenarians competing in the Master's Olympics in Perth, Australia. It's not just a film about age, but about love, loss and a determination to prove something.
Phillip Woods came to the BBC last year with a 26 minute student film about his father’s drug abuse and was then commissioned to make the arresting, visceral documentary Chasing Dad: A Life Long Addiction for BBC Three. The highly acclaimed film has been RTS nominated for the Breakthrough award. Phillip is now returning to BBC Three with a new film, Rehab, in which he explores the nature of addiction in young people with access to a residential rehab centre.
On screen, Factual is also giving new talent the opportunity to present their first programmes and bring their expertise to a wide range of new content.
New talent Chris Jackson, Professor of Geology at Imperial College, takes part in an extraordinary expedition to one of the world’s most dangerous, spectacular and least known volcanoes on Earth in new BBC Two series, Jungle Volcano.
Alongside Xand Van Tulleken and Aldo Kane, the three will join an international science mission to Nyiragongo, on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, to discover more about the Earth’s deepest secrets than ever before.
Not only is the region riven by war-torn conflict, it is also home to the Virunga Volcanoes – not one, but a chain of 8 volcanoes at imminent threat of eruption. The largest, Nyiragongo, last blew in 2002 and killed hundreds in a single eruption. Here, the three presenters and the team of volcanologists will attempt to penetrate inside the very craters at the core of its two most active volcanoes and will carry out a number of cutting edge scientific experiments to reveal more about what goes on beneath the Earth’s crust, from what drives the Earth’s tectonic plates to why Volcanoes erupt.
Arabist, writer, explorer and Marrakech resident Alice Morrison follows the ‘Salt Roads’, once one of the world’s richest trading networks to the fabled sandstone city of Timbuktu in new BBC Two series, From Here to Timbuktu.
Travelling by any means possible - camel, donkey and sometimes just on foot - it’s a journey that takes her deep into the history, culture and civilisation of both ancient and modern North Africa. Alice’s journey takes her through the Islamic city of Fes, the great market town of Marrakech, across the mighty Atlas Mountains dotted with Berber villages and the Jebel Saghro where nomads still wander in search of grazing for their animals, to the ancient city of Sijilmasa whose ruins sit on the edge of the great Saharan Desert. Alice’s adventure reveals the extraordinary history, anthropology and landscapes of some of the most mysterious, beautiful and ancient cities in the world.
Emerging new presenting talents and social historians, Emma Dabiri and Annie Gray are coming together to present new BBC Two series, The Confectioners. Emma, who first came to our screens on Back in Time for Brixton and Annie, one of the experts on Victorian Bakers, will be guiding four modern day confectioners through 450 years of social and economic history to reveal the surprising story of sugar.
The Pacemakers is commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries. The production company is Bungalow Town. The Commissioning Editor is Danny Horan, the Director is Selah Hennessey, the Executive Producer is Riete Oord.
Rehab is commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries. The production company is Rare Day. The Commissioning Editor is Danny Horan and the Executive Producer is Peter Dale.
Jungle Volcano is commissioned by Patrick Holland and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The production company is BBC Studios. The commissioning editor is Diene Petterle and the executive producer for BBC Studios is Jonathan Renouf. Jungle Volcano is a co-production with the PBS science series NOVA. Paula S. Apsell is Senior Executive Producer for NOVA.
From Here to Timbuktu is commissioned by Patrick Holland and Tom McDonald. The Production company is Tern. The commissioning editor is Lucinda Axelsson and the executive producer for Tern Productions is Harry Bell.
The Confectioners is commissioned by Patrick Holland and Tom McDonald. It is produced by Wall To Wall (a Warner Bros. Television Production UK Ltd Company). The commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle and the Executive Producer at Wall to Wall is Emily Shields, and the Series Producer is Helen Nixon.
Notes to Editors
- All titles are working titles
- BBC New Talent Hotlist 2017
- BBC Comedy announces The Felix Dexter Bursary
- BBC Four gives new talent their first opportunity to write for television
- The BBC’s Documentary Directors’ Initiative re-launches as six documentary makers from the scheme’s first year are announced
- BBC Factual announces wide range of new on and off screen talent
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