BBC Three has ordered six documentaries for its returning Fresh strand, which was launched in 2008 and aims to give up-and-coming filmmakers the chance to tell stories that are relevant to younger audiences.
These six new documentaries explores cannabis use, underage drinking, the incredible journey of a theatre group of young adults with Down’s syndrome, the story of the students at the Academy of Contemporary Music as they study to become rock stars, the lives of three young women who perform web-cam sex sessions for money and the story a group of modern day English knights.
“I’m extremely proud of BBC Three’s Fresh initiative, which gives promising new programme makers a platform to showcase their brilliant work”, said BBC Three Controller Zai Bennett. “We’re all about nurturing and mentoring new British talent both on and off the screen at BBC Three and nothing demonstrates this more than the Fresh strand.”
While Emma Swain, Controller of Knowledge Commissioning, added: “Fresh continues to blaze a trail of originality across the channel, bringing a new generation of exciting documentary filmmakers to the fore. The strand has successfully launched documentary makers like Danny Beck who made Stormchaser: The Butterfly And The Tornado and then went on to enjoy further success with I Swear I Can Sing for BBC Three and The War On Britain’s Roads for BBC One. I’m delighted we have been able to support yet another run of stand-out films.”
Full Details Of The Six New Documentary Commissions Follow Below:
Does Skunk Make You Crazy
This one hour documentary lifts the lid on cannabis-induced psychosis and asks if this mental health condition is an unintended, man-made consequence of scientific progress and economic efficiency as traditional ‘organic’ cannabis production has moved out of the fields and into the lab, with intensively produced high-grade strains dominating the market. Looking at skunk not as just another illegal recreational drug but as a highly successful market-leader, 23-year-old journalist Jake Hanrahan, who suffered from cannabis-induced psychosis himself at the age of 14, seeks to understand the truth behind the drug young Britain gets high on. Does Skunk Make You Crazy is produced by Acme Films, with Jaimie D’Cruz serving as the executive producer. The entry was produced and directed by Charlotte Rodrigues.
Growing Up Down’s
Growing Up Down’s aims to redefine perceptions and explode the myths about Down’s syndrome. The documentary follows the incredible journey of a theatre group of young adults with Down’s syndrome as they put together a touring production of Hamlet. Filmed both inside and outside the rehearsal room over 18 months, we see each actor face big challenges in their personal lives that affect their relationship with the group and their work on the play. From finding love to helping troubled friends, from body image to choosing role models, from coming to terms with who they are to living independently, the actors confront issues that all young adults face on the path to maturity. But in this film they are experienced by people with one of the most widely recognized, yet least understood learning disabilities. Maverick Television and Dartmouth Films are producing with Paul Woolf and Christo Hird serving as executive producer. The director is Will Jessop.
Knight Club follows a group of modern-day English knights as they enter the international ‘Battle of the Nations’ tournament in France – the world’s biggest and most brutal full-body contact medieval tournament and a super-tough version of historical re-enactment. As the sun rises above the tranquil French countryside, the medieval turrets of the imposing Aigues-Mortes fortress cast shadows across hundreds of medieval tents and at least 20 port-a-loos. We meet Rob, Dan, Gwilym and Sam – a gallant band of English and Welsh knights, who are part of the fledgling debut British team. Dressed head to toe in clanking armour, and wielding mighty swords, their quest is to defeat knights from
countries around the world. With only a few weeks training under their chainmail, their mission is at best ambitious, at worst foolhardy. But the
novice knights have that bulldog spirit and, draped in the flag of St George, they have hope in their hearts and a Ford Transit full of axes, maces and broadswords. Endemol is producing with Andy Rowe serving as the executive producer. The director is Matt Ralph.
School Of Rock
School of Rock follows students at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) – where young adults study to become rock stars. ACM in Guildford, Surrey, is one of the leading colleges for students who are serious about a career in music. With each new year comes a new breed of wannabe rock/pop stars, determined to live the dream and make it in a business where you’re more likely to be hit by a bus than achieve stardom. With extraordinary access, we follow young students as they embark on a time in their lives that will define their future. This coming-of-age documentary will show in intimate detail the reality of what it’s like to pursue a dream. Storyvault Films is producing with Southan Morris serving as the executive producer. The director is Kieran Carruthers.
Underage And Over The Limit
This on hour documentary follows the youth workers who are reaching out to help the North East’s underage drinkers. More children aged
11-15 in the North East have drunk alcohol than anywhere else in the country, and the region has the highest rate of under-18s in specialist alcohol treatment (more than twice the national rate) and the highest rate for under-18s overall admitted to hospital. This film goes out onto the streets with youth workers on the front-line as they meet underage drinkers and hear from them first-hand why the culture of underage drinking is so embedded, and follows the stories of young people who are battling to turn around their issues with drink. Special Edition Films is producing with Mira King serving as the executive producer. Louis Grover is directing.
Webcam Girls follows the secret lives of three girls making a living performing for fans online. The film looks at the way ‘camming’ has affected their home-lives and relationships, and how the pressure to perform more hardcore shows in order to gain a bigger following and earn more money has impacted upon them in different ways. One of the performers was once a talented classical pianist but rebelled against the strictures of that life in a bid to find fame as a self-created web-star. Another is enjoying the money and fame and is moving further into the sex industry as a porn performer. The third woman was formerly a successful porn star, but has left that behind and is now planning her final ‘cam’ performance before she sets out on a new chapter in her life – using her mind instead of her body. Special Edition Films is producing with Ravinder Chahal executive producing. The project was produced, directed and developed by Matthew Carter