This comes as the British public broadcaster has revamped its feature doc strand Storyville with films launching on youth-skewing network BBC Three for the first time as it looks to appeal to younger audiences.
The pick ups were unveiled today at the Sheffield Doc/Fest by BBC Storyville Commissioning Editor Mandy Chang.
Minding the Gap will air on BBC Three alongside true crime doc Roll Red Roll and music doc Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl.
Bing Liu’s Oscar nominated 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. It is a co-production between Kar-Temquin Films, American Documentary POV and Independent Television Service.
Roll Red Roll tells the story of the deep-seated and social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America. Sets in Steubenville, nestled in a valley in eastern Ohio, it follows the story of a teenage girl who was sexually assaulted at a pre-season football party in 2012, which was investigated by true-crime blogger Alex Goddard. Directed by Nancy Schwartzman, who produces alongside Jessica Devaney and Steven Lake for Sunset Park Pictures.
Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl explores the predominantly white, male music industry through the eyes of British singer-songwriter Kate Nash. Directed by Amy Goldstein, who produces alongside Anouchka van Riel for Span Productions.
Meanwhile, BBC Four will air three films as part of a Corruption season. Inside Lehman Brothers: The Whistle Blowers is directed by Jennifer Deschamps and tells the story of Matthew Lee, who was fired from the investment bank after discovering suspicious transactions in 2007. It is produced by Ina Fichman, Frederick Lacroix for Arte, Intuitive Pictures and KM Productions. On the President’s Orders is the story of President Duterte’s bloody campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines. Directed by James Jones and Olivier Sarbil, it is produced by Mongoose Films and exec produced by Dan Edge. The PM, The Playboy and the Wolf of Wall Street tells the story of a Malaysian wealth fund that is looted of US$3.5B and goes on to finance films including The Wolf of Wall Street. Directed by Sam Hobkinson & Havana Marking, it is produced by Mike Lerner for Roast Beef Productions.
Elsewhere, the channel will also air One Child Nation, which tells the story of the One-Child policy in China. The film, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year and won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, is directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang and produced by Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn for A Pumpernickel Films, Motto Pictures and Next Generation Production.
Cold Case Hammarskjöld follows Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl, who are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. Premiered at Sundance in 2019, it won the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary. It is produced by Peter Engel, Andreas Rocksen, Bjarte M. Tveit for A Wingman Media, Piraya Film, Laika Film & Television.
Finally, Maiden tell the 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. Maiden, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018, is directed by Alex Holmes and produced by Victoria Gregory for New Black Films.
Chang said, “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.”
“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,” she added.
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