Extra: Lisa Marie Russo to head BFI Doc Society Fund; Former BBC exec joins Facebook

Lisa Marie Russo to head BFI Doc Society fund Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC) has appointed Lisa Marie Russo as film fund executive of the BFI Doc Society Fund. The BFI announced the ...
March 12, 2018

Lisa Marie Russo to head BFI Doc Society fund

Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC) has appointed Lisa Marie Russo as film fund executive of the BFI Doc Society Fund.

The BFI announced the Doc Society as the delivery partner for documentary in December 2017, awarding them £1 million of national lottery funding per year to support and develop UK documentary filmmakers.

Reporting to Sandra Whipham, director of Doc Society, and the senior management team, Russo (pictured) will manage this funding. She will work with the BFI Network to mentor emerging talent and back creative documentary filmmaking across the UK.

Russo is an experienced film producer, whose feature documentary credits include Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City (2008), Gillian Wearing’s Self Made (2011), Andrew Kotting’s Swandown (2012) and Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 (2013). She was also a producer on the artist film Abandoned Goods (2014), which won the Golden Leopard at Locarno.

Originally from the U.S., Russo moved to the UK in 1994 and produced shorts, television and feature films. In 2009, Russo launched the production company Fly Film, with Kate Ogborn.

Additionally, Lynn Nwokorie, former film fund officer at Doc Society, will work alongside Russo to be the first point of contact for filmmakers.

Former BBC exec Dan Biddle joins Facebook

Dan Biddle has joined Facebook’s EMEA media team as strategic partnerships manager for broadcast, production and film.

Biddle took to Twitter to announce the appointment, noting that he is “looking forward to working with the most creative people in media to make video as social and impactful as possible.”

Most recently, Biddle worked as head of brand social media UK for food delivery app Deliveroo. Prior to that, he held a number of roles with Twitter, including director of broadcast partnerships and director of strategic innovation.

Biddle also spent time at British pubcaster BBC as a social media producer and editorial lead.

The appointment comes on the heels of news that Facebook is bolstering its video department with the addition of Mike Bidgoli as head of product for Facebook’s Watch platform, and Matthew Henick as head of content planning and strategy, media partnerships.

East Doc Platform presents awards

Marianna Kaat’s The Last Relic and Zoe Eluned Aino’s BlackandWhite were among the winners at this year’s East Doc Platform awards on Friday (March 9).

Organized by the Institute of Documentary Film, the Prague-set festival focuses on doc filmmakers in Central and Eastern Europe.

For the first time this year, the EDP, in partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute, introduced a new competition for short documentary projects. The best short project award went to BlackandWhite a doc about a nurse during WWII. The project won US$20,000 to complete the film and the IF/Then support for multi-platform distribution.

The best project award from the East Doc Forum — a pitching competition for projects in development and early production — was presented to the Estonian-Polish The Last Relic, directed by Marianna Kaat. The award came with a cash prize of US$9,000 for project development.

The Polish-German Angels of Sinjar. Yazidis – 21st Century Genocide took home the Czech TV Co-production Award and the HBO Europe Award.

Russian filmmaker Ksenia Gapchenko, director of Holy Culture!, and Liuba Ziamtsova, director of The Place of Love were each awarded Best Director.

Finally, the Golden Funnel Award — an award designed for a director-producer team — was given to Amoosed, directed by Hana Nováková and produced by Kateřina Traburová.

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