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BBC unveils doc projects looking a Alcoholics Anonymous, Alzheimer’s and autism

Family 23 looks at a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease research

DOC/FEST: The BBC has unveiled a slate of documentary commissions, including a look inside Alcoholics Anonymous, on the final day of Sheffield Doc/Fest.

As the annual factual gathering drew to a close in the Yorkshire city, Clare Sillery, head of commissioning for documentaries, history and religion, unveiled three single films and three new series.

Family 23 (working title, 1×90’) tells the story of an ordinary family from the Midlands who found themselves in the middle of one of the biggest breakthroughs in research into Alzheimer’s disease. It is produced by Tim Hincks and Peter Fincham’s Expectation Factual.

The film is directed by Niamh Kennedy, who directed acclaimed, award-winning documentary Abused By My Girlfriend, as part of the BBC New Documentary Directors’ Initiative.

Christine McGuinness: The Secret World of Autistic Women & Girls

Following the well-received Paddy & Christine McGuinness: Our Family & Autism, a new film working titled Christine McGuinness: The Secret World of Autistic Women & Girls will uncover the untold story of how autism in women and girls has been ignored and misunderstood by science and society. Optomen is the production company.

Saved – Inside AA (wt) features unprecedented access to Alcoholics Anonymous as it marks its 75th anniversary in the UK. Cameras from Yorkshire-based prodco Daisybeck Studios will be allowed inside a meeting for the first time, with cutting-edge technology used to maintain the anonymity of the people there.

A new co-commission between BBC Three and BBC Scotland, Body on The Beach (wt), investigates the case of the mysterious discovery of the body of young Swedish woman, Annie Börjesson, on a beach in south-west Scotland in 2005. Rogan Scotland is producing the 4×30’ series.

Paranormal (wt, 4×30’), a co-commission between BBC Three and BBC Wales with Twenty Twenty producing, explores strange incidents that unfolded in a remote part of north Wales from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.

Detectives (3×60’) has been renewed for a fourth season, again produced by Minnow Films, this time following a specialist police unit in Rochdale and their multi-layered battle to bring down one of Greater Manchester’s most notorious organised crime groups.

Sillery said: “It’s a really exciting time for documentaries at the BBC, with recent highlights such as Uprising, House of Maxwell, Our Falklands War, Then Barbara Met Alan and Gazza demonstrating our commitment to telling distinctive British stories and bringing viewers new perspectives on recent events.”


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