ITV has selected the five rising Black documentary directors set to make their first full-length documentaries for the broadcaster’s Fresh Cuts strand.
The broadcaster has whittled down more than 100 submissions to pick Jason Osborne, Louise Coleman, Yemi Adegbulu, Daniel Dempster and David Adeyemi to helm the strand's inaugural slate.
The five, who were unveiled today at Sheffield DocFest, will work with ITV Studios label MultiStory Media to deliver a 60-minute documentary about Black British life that will air during Black History Month in October.
The docs were ordered by ITV factual entertainment commissioning editor Satmohan Panesar, and entertainment commissioner Lara Akeju seconded to executive produce them.
Akeju said of the strand: “Representation behind the camera is still an issue. It’s a deeply structural issue and I think as a broadcaster, this is a step in the right direction.
“We’re giving a platform for Black filmmakers to take ownership of their storytelling – and we’re also fast-tracking their careers by giving them their first film credit.”
She said the film-makers have so far contended with delayed flights, a heatwave and a national rail strike – but also the first ‘production baby’.
The five films (all with working titles) are:
Director: Jason Osborne
An alternative social history of Britain told through the stories of Black Britons in the Queen’s Jubilee years. Osborne is co-founder of indie Project Must Entertainment and made his short Love Languages through the inaugural Netflix Documentary Talent Fund.
The Bottom Line
Director: Louise Coleman
An exploration of the vogue for controversial ‘Brazilian Butt Lift’ surgery. Coleman is the co-founder of creative film and video collective Verbatim Film Agency.
Ink to Skin
Director: Yemi Adegbulu
A look at the role that tattoos have played in Black culture.
Adebgulu was recently funded and mentored by The Roundhouse for her documentary short Keeping Grandma.
Everyone Can Rap
Director: Daniel Dempster
A film in which people are taught to express themselves through the medium of rapping.
Dempster has worked as a producer/director on shows such as Chasing The Dream, Glow Up and Rap Game UK.
Director: David Adeyemi
The story of basketball’s place in Black communities and the UK sporting landscape told through two British basketball players as their teams compete in the Ball Out 3 x 3 tournament.
MAMA Youth Project alumnus Adeyemi has worked as a casting researcher on BBC3’s I Like The Way You Move and as a junior researcher on Sky Arts’ Unmuted.