UK network Channel 4 (C4) has extended its funding of the Britdoc documentary foundation to the end of 2013, while also bumping up the amount it gives the organization by a third.
The relationship between the UK broadcaster and the doc foundation dates back to 2005, when C4 provided the funding to launch Britdoc, and since then the network has renewed its funding at regular intervals.
The independent, non-profit organization has a remit to create new funding and distribution models for the best independent documentary films, and has funded more than 60 films, including Sundance Film Festival winners Hell and Back Again and Afghan Star; BAFTA winner Chosen; and We Are Together, which won the Tribeca audience award in 2007.
The Foundation also brokers new relationships between filmmakers, NGOs and brands through initiatives such as the Good Pitch.
Britdoc CEO Jess Search said: “It would have been impossible to have got the foundation off the ground six and a half years ago with anyone except Channel 4. They took a risk on us and provided 100% of our initial funding.
“I’m happy to say that their bet paid off and the foundation has now grown into a mature organization with international partnerships including Sundance Institute, PUMA.Creative and Ford Foundation. We are incredibly grateful to Channel 4 for investing in the power of documentary and continuing to support us so generously.”
C4′s chief executive, David Abraham, added: “I’m delighted that we’re able to not only extend our support of Britdoc, but also to increase funding, particularly in such an uncertain economic climate. Documentary filmmaking has always been in our DNA at Channel 4.
“Its unique ability to help people see the world around them differently, to challenge behaviours and to shine a light on corners of the world that would otherwise go unnoticed, is something that we need to nurture for future generations. I am also heartened that Britdoc has continued to grow its suite of sponsors and supporters.”