UK pubcaster BBC3′s ‘Fresh’ strand, which gives up-and-coming directors a primetime slot, will return in early 2014 with new commissions including Webcam Girls, Knight Club (pictured) and School of Rock.
Commissioned by Elliot Reed for the BBC, the docs look at a number of youth-skewing topics, including under-age drinking, rock star studies, and the effects of cannabis on the brain.
Directed and produced by Will Jessop, Growing Up Down’s (working title) looks at a theater group of young adults with Down’s syndrome as they put together a production of Hamlet. The film follows the rehearsal, relationships between the actors, and more over an 18 month period. The 60-minute special is executive produced by Paul Woolf for Maverick Television and Christo Hird for Dartmouth Films.
In Webcam Girls (w/t), producer and director Matthew Carter follows three women who make a living making webcam videos, including a former classical pianist, a former porn star, and another who is moving further into the porn industry. The film looks at how their webcam work is affecting their lives and relationships. It is executive produced by Ravinder Chahal for Special Edition Films.
Charlotte Rodrigues’ Does Skunk Make You Crazy? (w/t) follows 23-year-old journalist Jake Hanrahan, who looks for the truth behind cannabis-induced psychosis. As a sufferer himself, Hanrahan will meet with scientists, psychiatrists, other sufferers and family to find out if the drug is harmless or not. Acme Films’ Jaimie D’Cruz executive produces.
Kieran Carruthers directs School of Rock (w/t), which looks at students attending the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), where young adults are taught rock and pop. The doc, produced by Pete Kirtley and executive produced by Southan Morris for Storyvault Films, promises extraordinary access to the young students.
In Knight Club, four young men are entering the international medieval tournament, Battle of the Nations, held in France. Rob, Dan, Gwilym and Sam are English and Welsh novice knights, with chainmail, armor and axes. Produced and directed by Matt Ralph, the doc is executive produced by Andy Rowe for Endemol.
Finally, Underage and Over the Limit (w/t), produced and directed by Louis Grover, looks at the North East section of the UK, which has the highest number of underage drinkers in the country. The film follows the youth workers on the front line and the young people who are trying to turn around their battle with alcohol. Special Edition Films’ Mira King is executive producer.
“I’m extremely proud of BBC3′s ‘Fresh’ initiative, which gives promising new program-makers a platform to showcase their brilliant work,” said Zai Bennett, controller of BBC3. “We’re all about nurturing and mentoring new British talent both on and off the screen at BBC3 and nothing demonstrates this more than the ‘Fresh’ strand.”
In related news, BBC3 has recommissioned The Call Centre for a second season. The work-place observational documentary series, produced by BBC Factual Production, follows the people who work at Swansea-based call center Save Britain Money.
Airing in early 2014, the 6 x 60-minute series, and a 60-minute Christmas special, will follow the unique management style of CEO Nav and his staff.