Docs

Channel 4 orders “Banged Up”, “Massacre that Shook the Empire”

British pubcaster Channel 4 has bolstered its programming lineup with the commissioning of two new projects from BriteSpark Films and Sugar Films. The tentatively titled social experiment Banged Up (3 x ...
March 19, 2019

British pubcaster Channel 4 has bolstered its programming lineup with the commissioning of two new projects from BriteSpark Films and Sugar Films.

The tentatively titled social experiment Banged Up (3 x 60 minutes) from BriteSpark, part of Argonon Group, will feature eight teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 as they experience the reality of living and working behind bars for a week at Florida’s Brevard County Jail under the watchful eye of Sheriff Wayne Ivey in an attempt to encourage them to make the life choices that will keep them out of prison.

The six male and two female teens will live as prisoners throughout their stay. The group, who will be booked into the 1,600-inmate jail like regular inmates, will work in the facility’s kitchen and laundry alongside regular inmates and be part of a chain gang working on the roads during their incarceration.

During their weeklong stay, the teens will eat prison food and be exposed to the rigid daily routine, which includes military-style physical drills and one phone call home. They will also hear cautionary tales from alleged murderers and former gang-members before taking a trip to the police morgue where they’ll witness real-life murder victims.

Matt Rudge is series director, with Nick Godwin and Bill Erfuth as executive producers. Banged Up was commissioned by Ian Dunkley, Channel 4 commissioning editor for factual entertainment.

Elsewhere, the Sugar Films-produced one-off documentary The Massacre that Shook the Empire (working title) will explore one of the darkest days in British and Indian history.

Hosted by writer and journalist Sathnam Sanghera (pictured), the film will examine the Jallianwala Bagh slaughter on April 13, 1919 when a British general ordered his forces to open fire on a peaceful crowd in a park in Amritsar, India who had gathered to celebrate Baisakhi, a festival that marks the Sikh New Year.

The Massacre that Shook the Empire will follow Sanghera as he retraces the build up to the massacre that left hundreds dead and thousands wounded. Sanghera will also meet with descendants of survivors, as well as the relatives of those responsible.

Chris Durlacher serves as producer and director alongside executive producer Narinder Minhas. Shaminder Nahal was the commissioning editor for C4.

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