The BBC New Documentary Directors' Initiative is open for applications, offering four participants the opportunity to produce and direct their first long form documentary for BBC Three and iPlayer.
The initiative has catapulted many aspiring directors to success, with previous participants going on to work on international series and feature documentaries for the BBC, Netflix, Amazon and Sky.
The new wave of documentary filmmakers will each partner up with an executive producer, who will be their mentor throughout the process. They will also have access to a series of masterclasses from industry talent and will be placed with a production company who will assist them in making their first film. Previous mentors include Charlie Russell at Curious Films, Emma Wakefield at Lambent and Colin Barr at Expectation.
Former producer Lindsay Konieczny was finding it difficult to break into directing prior to the scheme, however, within the initiative, she produced an award-winning documentary for BBC Three, Sudden Death: My Sister’s Silent Killer. Most recently, she directed BBC documentary series Parole, which she filmed over a year with direct access to parole hearings, prisoners and victims.
She said of the scheme: “I was only ever seen as a Producer, so the ideas that I’d develop would often be handed to experienced directors. The BBC New Directors’ Initiative gave me the support, training and trust to not only make a single film, but to create something that reflected the intimate style of filmmaking that defines and excites me.”
Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, added: “I’m thrilled that the New Directors’ Initiative is opening its doors once again for aspiring filmmakers. We want to provide opportunities for directing talent to grow their careers and tell the stories that really matter to the audience. The diverse range of new voices breaking through on this initiative have not only cut through on iPlayer, they have punched well above their weight.”
The scheme seeks candidates who have production experience and will last three to six months, depending on the demands of the production.
Applications are open until Monday 10 April 2023. Find out how to apply here.