Extra: C4 orders “Barbie” doc; BBC Cymru Wales supports aspiring doc makers

C4 commissions “Barbie: The Most Famous Doll in the World” UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a one-off doc investigating the world’s fascination with Barbie. In Barbie: The Most Famous Doll in ...
September 22, 2017

C4 commissions “Barbie: The Most Famous Doll in the World”

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a one-off doc investigating the world’s fascination with Barbie.

In Barbie: The Most Famous Doll in the World British broadcast and retail consultant Mary Portas will travel to Mattel’s head office in the U.S. to learn more about the history behind the world renown doll. On both sides of the pond, Portas will meet with experts, collectors and fans to find out what made the iconic toy become the multi-billion dollar business we know today.

Produced by Sundog Pictures, the 60-minute doc will be executive produced by Dov Freedman, The program was commissioned for C4 by Lizi Wootton, commissioning editor for features, and Gill Wilson, head of features.

BBC Wales launches scheme for emerging docmakers

BBC Cymru Wales is giving aspiring docmakers a leg up with a new initiative.

The New Documentary Directors’ Initiative will provide four directors with the opportunity to produce a half-hour doc to be broadcast on BBC1 Wales. The filmmakers will also be given access to a series of specialist mentoring sessions and masterclasses with doc professionals from Wales and beyond.

“This new and ambitious project is not only designed to create four fresh, new documentaries for BBC Wales,” said Nick Andrews, head of commissioning for BBC Wales, in a statement. “It is also aimed to be a launch-pad for rising stars and to ensure the next generation of filmmakers are emerging to tell compelling stories of Wales.”

Eligible candidates include film school graduates or those working in the industry who have experience of directing and editing for broadcast. New directors interested in applying for a place on the initiative will be able to do so via the BBC Careers Hub from the first week of October.

EDN initiative supports European doc sector

The European Documentary Network (EDN), has launched a new initiative designed to support the European doc sector.

The Media and Society initiative will have industry stakeholders create and publish a document that will propose recommendations aimed at creating a sustainability future for docs.

The fact-finding, discussion, analysis and formulation of policy proposals will span a period of one year. The formal launch of the initiative will take place on Nov. 19 during the IDFA Documentary Festival in Amsterdam, with the final document to be presented at IDFA 2018.

Filmmakers and production companies, film funds, festivals, streaming services, and broadcasters and media policy makers are invited to contribute to the white paper. Online activities will allow a wide range of documentary professionals to participate in the process, and a series of meetings will take place during major documentary events in 2017 and 2018, including the IDFA Forum, EFM Docsalon, CPH:DOX, Marché du Film and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Documentary professionals visiting these festivals and markets will be encouraged to share their experience and expertise.

An international network of partners and advisors is working with EDN on the Media and Society initiative. Besides the industry organizations mentioned above, Bournemouth University, the University of Glasgow, Gent University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Aberystwyth University and Oxford Brookes University are already actively involved. New partners will be invited to join the project in the weeks to come.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.