BBC Orders Six Documentaries From Young Filmmakers

The U.K. public broadcaster's BBC Three channel, which has showcased up-and-coming directors, will air films about such topics as actors with Down’s syndrome and aspiring rock stars.

LONDON – The BBC on Monday unveiled its latest patch of orders of documentaries from young filmmakers.

The U.K. public broadcaster said its BBC Three channel that targets younger viewers has ordered six films will look at such topics as underage drinking and drug use, the lives of sex workers, aspiring rock stars, actors with Down’s syndrome and a modern-day knights tournament.

The commissions are for BBC Three's Fresh, a programming scheme "for new directors looking to break into prime-time filmmaking." The BBC launched the initiative in 2008.

The latest documentaries ordered will air in early 2014.

"I’m extremely proud of BBC Three's Fresh initiative, which gives promising new program makers a platform to showcase their brilliant work," said Zai Bennett, controller of BBC Three. "We're all about nurturing and mentoring new British talent both on and off the screen at BBC Three, and nothing demonstrates this more than the Fresh strand."

"Fresh continues to blaze a trail of originality across the channel, bringing a new generation of exciting documentary filmmakers to the fore," said Emma Swain, the BBC's controller of knowledge commissioning. "The strand has successfully launched documentary makers like Danny Beck who made Stormchaser: The Butterfly And The Tornado and then went on to enjoy further success with I Swear I Can Sing for BBC Three and The War On Britain's Roads for BBC One."

Fresh has also produced such successes as My Brother The Islamist, which came out in 2011 and won the first-time director’s award at the Edinburgh TV Festival for director Robb Leech.

BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster's commercial arm, handles international deals for the Fresh documentaries.

Here is a look at the six latest documentaries ordered, all of which have working titles for now.

Does Skunk Make You Crazy? looks at cannabis use, while Underage And Over The Limit is an exploration of underage drinking. Growing Up Down’s will follow the journey of a theater group of young adults with Down’s syndrome.

Meanwhile, School Of Rock follows students at the Academy of Contemporary Music as they study to become rock stars, and Webcam Girls
will explore the lives of three young women who perform web-cam sex sessions for money.

Finally, Knight Club will follow a group of modern-day English knights as they enter the "Battle of the Nations," the world’s biggest full-body contact medieval tournament.

Twitter: @georgszalai