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Meet the winners of the Netflix documentary talent fund

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As part of the process, winner will undergo bootcamp training from specialists at Netflix

Netflix has announced all winners of documentary talent fund documentary on the theme of “Connection,” as part of the second year of the Netflix Documentary Talent Fund.

Following a rigorous application process and thousands of applications, a shortlist of twelve filmmaking teams were invited to Netflix’s UK HQ to pitch in front of a panel of industry experts.  The successful recipients and their projects are:

  • Anna Snowball & Abolfazl Talooni – Iranian Yellow Pages, Iranians in London, trapped between two cultures, search for connection by placing weird and wonderful adverts in the Iranian Yellow Pages.
  • Anna Rodgers & Zlata Filipovic – Two Mothers, An unusual bond compels an Irish mother of twins to travel to war-torn Ukraine in order to rescue the woman who carried her babies.
  • Caroline Williamson & Troi Lee – Turn Up the Bass is the remarkable story of Troi Lee (aka ‘DJ Chinaman’), a deaf DJ and pioneer of the UK’s deaf rave scene, as he and his ‘deaf rave’ team put on his 20 year anniversary show.
  • Logan Rea & Krishna Istha – First Trimester follows a transgender performance artist as he interviews hundreds of potential sperm donors live on stage in a quest to find the perfect connection, one that will enable him and his partner to start their family.
  • Olivia Smart – Black People Can’t Swim, Drowning isn’t an option as three people tackle their biggest fear.

The Netflix Documentary Talent Fund was created to break down barriers of access for emerging filmmakers. As part of the process they will now undergo bootcamp training from specialists at Netflix who will coach and host workshops covering all aspects of production including legal, creative, HR, production and finance.

Each team will produce a short documentary between 8-12 minutes long with a budget of £30,000. The final documentaries are set to be released on Netflix’s YouTube channel in 2024.

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Officers implement new tactics to protect women in central London

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Officers implement new tactics to protect women in central London
On a recent patrol officers stopped eight men who raised suspicions, subsequently arresting six of them for offenses

Met officers patrolling the London West End are now using new training to identify predatory behavior, addressing concerns for the safety of women and girls.

The training, originally developed for counter-terrorism policing, equips officers to spot signs and behavioral cues of potential offenders. It has been rolled out to officers patrolling London streets to protect women and girls at risk of violence.

This initiative is part of the Met’s proactive operation, ‘Project Vigilant’, where officers conduct plain-clothed patrols, monitor live CCTV, and have uniformed officers on standby to respond and intervene when necessary.

“The Met is committed in tackling sexual offenders and rebuilding trust amongst women and girls in local communities. It is devastating that women and girls are not able to enjoy a night out with friends due to the potential harm they could face at the hands of predatory men. We remain focused in creating a safe space for women and girls and encourage all victims of violence or sexual violence come forward to help bring offenders to justice,” says Sargeant Augustine Anyaegbuna of the Westminster neighbourhood team.

On the most recent Vigilant patrol, officers stopped eight men who raised suspicions. Six of these were subsequently arrested for offenses including sexual assault, drug possession, robbery, and theft.

Beyond the streets of the capital, domestic abuse remains a significant issue across the country. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, an estimated 2.1 million people aged 16 and over (1.4 million women and 751,000 men) experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2023.

However, the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics shows a slight decrease in domestic abuse-related prosecutions. There were 51,288 prosecutions in England and Wales for the year ending March 2023, down from 53,207 in the previous year.

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Channel 4’s Writers Scheme Welcomes 20 UK Authors

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Channel 4's New Writers Scheme Welcomes 20 UK Authors
Twenty people from across the UK have joined a Channel 4 scheme designed to work with TV drama writers

Twenty people from across the UK have joined a Channel 4 scheme designed to work with TV drama writers in the West and South West of England and Wales, North of England, and Scotland – providing them with months of expert industry training, mentoring and support to develop their first pilot episode-spec script.

4Skills launched this year’s New Writers Scheme last week with an aim to nurture underrepresented writing talent, focussing on diverse, regional and authentic voices who have a flair for television drama.

Following the successful pilot in the West and South West of England in 2022, the programme has since expanded to work with participants located near Channel 4’s regional hubs: Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds. The writers will benefit from nine months of expert industry training and mentoring from scripted indies and a script editor, alongside feedback from Channel 4. 

As part of the kick-off, screenwriters from the regional hubs met at Channel 4’s Leeds office for three days of introductions, writing tips and training with NFTS trainer Hannah Robinson and heard from the experts including Nicola Shindler, Danny Brocklehurst, Helen Black and Director of Film4 & Channel 4 Drama, Ollie Madden.

“It was very exciting to meet with such a talented group of writers, who all bring an incredible depth of creativity, specificity and passion to their projects. I am truly looking forward to seeing how this year’s cohort develop their skills in the months ahead,” says Ollie Madden, Director of Film4 & Channel 4 Drama. 

The New Writers Scheme is funded and developed by 4Skills with Channel 4 Drama and supported by the BFI NETWORK (Film Hub South West and Film Hub North) alongside support from Screen Scotland. 

The initiative is one of many projects being supported by 4Skills, which provided more than 57,000 learning, training or development opportunities in 2023.

Kevin Blacoe, Channel 4’s Head of Partnerships & Skills, Nations & Regions said:

4Skills is designed to open doors for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds and various regions across the UK, providing opportunities for those who typically wouldn’t have access to the behind-the-scenes world of television.

By guiding them as they advance in their careers, we are also investing in the future of television. Our goal is to ensure that every voice, both on-screen and off, is heard and valued.”

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Go North East sponsor Durham Cricket’s Visually Impaired Team

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Go North East sponsor Durham Cricket's Visually Impaired Team
Durham’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team now plays in the England and Wales Cricket Board Development League | Photo: Gavin Forster

Go North East has announced the continuation of its partnership with Durham Cricket as the front-of-shirt sponsor of their Visually Impaired team until 2025.

First founded in June 2007, Durham’s Visually Impaired Cricket Team now plays in the England and Wales Cricket Board Development League, against 11 other teams.

Visually Impaired (VI) cricket is a specially adapted version of the game that is suitable for anyone with a visual impairment – whether partially sighted or totally blind.

Ben Maxfield, Business Director, commented, “We are thrilled to be supporting the Visually Impaired Team at Durham Cricket again this year. At Go North East, we are dedicated to making our services accessible to everyone, and our buses are equipped with next-stop audio announcements to assist visually impaired passengers. This sponsorship is a natural extension of our commitment to inclusivity and supporting our community. We look forward to seeing the team’s success in the coming season.”

Tom Seymour, the Commercial Director for Durham Cricket said, “We are delighted to have Go North East, a local company connecting the region, renew their partnership and sponsorship of the Visually Impaired Team.”

He continued, “We’d like to thank them for their continued support for this programme and further showing the commitment we have here at Durham Cricket in creating an inclusive and welcoming space in the sport.”

For more information about the team, visit Visually Impaired Cricket – Durham Cricket

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