BBC3 greenlights three America-focused docs

Documentaries focused on American culture, Chicago's gun violence and the 2016 presidential election are slated to premiere across the BBC's online channel this October. (Pictured: Reggie Yates: Life and Death in Chicago )
August 26, 2016

Online channel BBC3 will head stateside this October with its latest slate of programming from Swan Films, Sundog Pictures and BBC Current Affairs.

The documentaries all focus on U.S. culture and the upcoming presidential election.

The Sundog-made film, Reggie Yates: Life and Death in Chicago (pictured), will feature award-winning filmmaker Reggie Yates as he travels to America’s third-largest city to investigate gun violence and the effect on young black men in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The film provides first-hand accounts of police brutality, footage from the aftermath of a shooting and the funeral of a young African-American man.

According to data released by the Chicago Police Department, murders in the Windy City surged 72% in the first three months of 2016 compared with the same period last year. Shootings, meanwhile, have soared more than 88% this year over last.

Sundog’s Dov Freedman and Sam Anthony serve as exec producers on the Toby Trackman-directed one-off. Becky Read serves as producer, alongside associate producer Yates.

The hour-long film was commissioned by BBC3 controller Damian Kavanagh and commissioning editor for documentaries Jamie Balment.

The broadcaster has also ordered American High School from London-based Swan Films.

Filmed over a one-year period at a South Carolina high school, the 6 x 60-minute series will offer an in-depth look into the lives of the institution’s principal and his African-American student body, including star football players, Ivy League hopefuls, male cheerleaders and young mothers as they attend homecoming, senior prom, dates and graduation.

Marcus Plowright directed and produced the series. Sarah Collinson was also on board as producer, with  Joe Evans and Neil Crombie executive producing.

It was commissioned by BBC’s Kavanagh and doc commissioners Balment and Clare Sillery.

Finally, Irish television presenter and journalist Angela Scanlon will travel across the U.S. to meet with young people supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Trump’s Youngest Superfans from BBC Current Affairs will explore what motivates the controversial candidate’s loyal base and why exactly his message appeals to them, while also meeting with supporters from a new generation of white nationalists.

Leon Dean directs alongside producer Sarah Foudy and exec producer Sarah Waldron. It was commissioned by Kavanagh and current affairs commissioning editor Joanna Carr.

All series will be made available via BBC3 and iPlayer this October.

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