Advanced Television

ITV announces Fresh Cuts filmmakers for Black History Month 2022

June 27, 2022

After more than a hundred submissions, ITV has revealed the five producer/directors who have been commissioned to create films as part of the Black History Month 2022 Fresh Cuts strand.

ITV opened submissions for the Fresh Cuts strand, which gives rising Black filmmakers the opportunity to get their first ITV commission, in March 2022 with a callout for producer/directors to pitch innovative, contemporary ideas capturing Black Britishness.

At Sheffield DocFest, ITV introduced the five selected filmmakers – Louise Coleman, Yemi Adegbulu, Daniel Dempster, Jason Osborne and David Adeyemi – who have been commissioned to create the films for the strand, their first full length, network 60-minute documentary for ITV.

Recent research by The Creative Diversity Network showed that Black directors make up just 1.6 per cent of the industry. As the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV continues to be committed to improving representation on-screen and off-screen. This includes giving a greater range of off-screen talent the opportunity to progress and gain credits in senior production roles, whether through Step Up 60, or ITV’s Diversity Commissioning Fund, or new strands like Fresh Cuts.

The commissions for Fresh Cuts include Our Jubilee (w/t), an alternative social history of Britain through the stories of Black Britons in the Queen’s Jubilee years, directed by Jason Osborne. Jason transitioned to the world of film after spending time in various corporate roles. He is an inaugural recipient of the Netflix Documentary Talent Fund and co-founder of Project Must Entertainment, an independent production company focused on documentary, scripted, factual entertainment, digital and music projects.

Louise Coleman’s film The Bottom Line (w/t) explores the popularity of controversial Brazilian Butt Lift surgery.  During the pandemic, Louise co-founded Verbatim Film Agency, a creative film and video collective which represents individuals from Black and Minority Ethnic communities and underprivileged backgrounds.

Yemi Adegbulu explores tattoos in black culture in Ink to Skin (w/t). In 2022, Yemi was funded and mentored by The Roundhouse for her directorial debut ‘Keeping Grandma’ – a documentary based on her family’s eight-year fight to keep her grandmother in the country.

Daniel Dempster is the creator of Everyone Can Rap (w/t) in which everyday people are taught to rap in order to help express themselves. Daniel is passionate about celebrating black talent. He has previously worked on shows like The Rap Game and Chasing The Dream. 

Black British and Basketball (w/t) is a documentary created by David Adeyemi that follows the journey of two basketball players and their teams battling through the Ball Out 3 x 3 basketball tournament, highlighting the importance of the sport in black communities and its place in the UK sporting landscape. David has worked in production for over six years. He earned his first TV credit through Mama Youth Project.

The strand was commissioned by Factual Entertainment Commissioning Editor Satmohan Panesar. The producer/directors will be housed at Multistory Media, part of ITV Studios, with support and training from the ITV Creative Diversity team.

Satmohan Panesar said: “From Brazillian Buttlifts to conversations about tattoos in the Black community and even looking at the Queen’s Jubilee through the lens of Black history. This strand is going to showcase some fascinating and unique storytelling. We’re really proud to provide a platform for Black filmmakers to tell exciting contemporary stories of being Black today.”

Overseeing for ITV Studios and MultiStory Media, Lara Akeju, Executive Producer (on secondment from her Entertainment Commissioning role), said: “Giving a platform to Black directors to tell their authentic stories of Black British experience is really exciting. ’ve selected an incredibly talented group of filmmakers, all with very different backgrounds. Fresh Cuts will allow them to showcase their unique skills and I have no doubt that the programmes they produce will accelerate their careers.”

Tim Carter, CEO of MultiStory Media, said: “There’s nothing more exciting than identifying and promoting the next generation of rising stars and new voices, and MultiStory is privileged to be building a relationship with these talented directors”.

Nahrein Kemp, Creative Diversity Partner, ITV said “We are very proud to partner with ITV Studios and Multistory Media and to work with these 5 talented Filmmakers. Fresh Cuts represents the best of ITV- bold, distinct and exciting. We can’t wait to see what our audience thinks of the films.’

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