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Netflix selects UK doc funding winners

Global streamer Netflix has named the 10 aspiring filmmakers from around the UK who have won funding as part of its inaugural Documentary Talent Fund.

Kate Townsend

The creatives will receive up to £40,000 (US$56,000) in financing to create their own documentary short film of between eight and 12 minutes long to the brief Britain’s Not Boring and Here’s a Story.

The winners, who were selected by a judging panel including SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards, director of original documentaries commissioning at Netflix Kate Townsend and Little By Little Films founder Lindsey Dryden.

The winners are:

• Beya Kabelu – The Detective & The Thief. Every hour a dog is stolen in the UK. The film follows the hunt for the missing pets, from the detective tasked with finding them to loved ones left distraught.

• Daisy Ifama – Twinkleberry. A lighthearted documentary about the filmmaker’s time at a West Country school when there were 30-plus gay students in one year group between 2005 and 2012.

• Dhivya Kate Chetty – Bee Whisperer. A tale of conservation, community and solidarity through one man and his bees.

• Jakob Lancaster and Sorcha Bacon – Seal In The City. A film about the only thing stopping London’s oldest fish market from being redeveloped into luxury flats: a seal, who has shown up there for breakfast every day for 15 years.

• Jason Osborne and Precious Mahaga – Love Languages. Five black men debunk myths and stereotypes of black masculinity by having revealing, humorous and vulnerable conversations about their own personal love language set within the comfort of their safe space, an Afro-Caribbean barbershop.

• Ngaio Anyia and Aodh Breathnach – Tegan. A young black woman with cerebral palsy is how the world categorises Tegan Vincent Cook, but the film showcases her talent and drive as an equestrian, matched with unbridled dedication to reach the 2024 Olympics.

• Sean Mullan & Michael Barwise – HYFIN. Jordan-Lee Brady-James, aka HYFIN, a young Derry-Londonderry man in between places, is told that a Northern Irish accent can’t rap.

• Shiva Raichandani and Shane ShayShay Konno – Peach Paradise. A non-binary Japanese-Irish drag artist storms the UK’s cabaret scene with a gender-diverse, pan-Asian collective of bitten peaches, to dismantle racial stereotypes.

• Tavie Tiffany Agama – Women of the Market. A film introducing the markets of London and the entrepreneurial women that operate within them.

• Tobi Kyeremateng and Tania Nwachukwu – Ówàmbè. An intergenerational docu-fiction film about Ówàmbè, the life and soul of Nigerian party culture, in the UK.

While they produce their projects, the filmmakers will be supported by a mentorship programme, with Netflix and WDW Entertainment working alongside them.

The final documentary films, set to be delivered in January, will be made available on Netflix UK’s social channels and showcased at a screening event. Each team will own and retain their own copyright throughout the process.

Townsend said: “We were so impressed with the richness of applications received and the originality demonstrated across the board, and want to extend our congratulations to this year’s deserved winning teams. It’s such an exciting glimpse into the future talent of UK documentarians and we look forward to collaborating together to empower each team to fulfil the potential of documentary filmmaking.”


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