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BBC Storyville chief heads to Fremantle

Mandy Chang, commissioning editor for BBC documentary strand Storyville since 2017, is leaving the UK pubcaster to lead a new global factual division at European production group Fremantle.

Mandy Chang

Chang will take up the newly created head of documentaries role at Fremantle later this year after four years at the BBC.

Reporting to group chief operating officer Andrea Scrosati, the former ABC Australia exec will oversee the strategy and creation of Fremantle’s new factual division.

Scrosati said: “Mandy is an incredible creative talent. Her experience and leadership as both a producer and commissioner will be key to Fremantle’s very ambitious plans to scale up our global factual capabilities.

“Whilst we are already producing and distributing a growing slate of documentaries, we want to invest to do more and we are excited to work with Mandy who will help us design and execute this ambitious plan.”

Chang added: “Leading BBC Storyville and international acquisitions to bring hundreds of hours of the best international documentaries and factual programming to the BBC’s platforms has been deeply fulfilling and a privilege.

“This is a unique opportunity to create a division of world-class documentary films and series from around the globe, which unites all the experience and knowledge gained throughout my career.”

Fremantle has already announced a number of new premium documentaries produced by its teams around the world. Working with Richard Brown’s New York- and London-based prodco Passenger, the company is set to chart the launch and inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League in a documentary series directed by up-and-coming South African director Tebogo Malope.

In the UK, Fremantle’s Naked is working on Planet Sex for Disney-owned streamer Hulu and BBC3. The show will be fronted by actor and model Cara Delevingne, who will explore questions around human sexuality.

In Italy, Fremantle is set to launch original series Veleno: The Town of Lost Children with Amazon Prime Video. The show looks at real events relating to the ‘Satanic Panic’ phenomenon in the 1990s.

In Germany, Fremantle-owned UFA (with Wild Blue Media) has produced Arctic Drift, a docuseries that follows a scientific expedition to undertake crucial climate research. It also recently announced the creation of UFA Documentaries, a division fully focused on production of high-end docs.

Fremantle also has number of high-end documentary acquisitions on its 2021 slate, including the water-scarcity documentary Day Zero, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor; Samuel L Jackson-fronted series Enslaved – How it Feels to Be Free, executive produced by Alicia Keys; and recently announced titles Oscar Peterson: Black & White and Hulu three-part docuseries Von Dutch.

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