Clare Sillery, head of documentary commissioning at the BBC, has unveiled a wide-reaching range of shows from acclaimed producers, directors and filmmakers.
Celebrating a “fantastic year” for BBC documentaries, which saw BBC Two’s Exodus: Our Journey to Europe win the RTS Programme Award for Documentary Series, Sillery promised that the new slate of programmes would continue to “demonstrate the ongoing ambition of documentaries at the BBC to speak to the now.”
In February of this year, Netflix won its first Oscar and its first Bafta. Surprisingly, the awards were not for any of its high-profile drama series, but for two documentaries. The Academy Award went to The White Helmets, a film about a group of Syria Civil Defence volunteer rescue workers. The Bafta winner was 13th, Ava DuVernay’s film about race in the US criminal justice system.
Speaking about the films, to be shows on BBC One, Two, Three and Four, Patrick Holland, BBC Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, said: “We are delighted to announce such a diverse and distinctive range of films from such a terrific group of programme-makers. The variety of stories and filmmaking approaches shows the ambition we have at BBC Documentaries. What unites these projects is the desire to find the very best ways to tell the most important and engaging stories."
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Comedian Tracey Ullman returns to the BBC for the first time in thirty years with a new sketch show.
When documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister started his latest project, A Syrian Love Story, he had little idea of the journey he would end up on.
What began as a film following a family as they waited for their mother to be released from prison evolved to demonstrate how one family could be affected by the turmoil in Syria.
The story began in 2010, when McAllister met Amer, a Palestinian living in Syria, who was looking after his three sons alone while his wife, Raghda, was incarcerated for writing a book criticising the Assad regime.