The BFI has announced that Doc Society are the delivery partner for its Documentary Fund, which will award up to £1m of National Lottery money a year to filmmakers across the UK.
The non-profit organisation – formerly known as BRITDOC – will help fulfil a commitment in the BFI’s five-year strategy (BFI2022) to support documentary film, including emerging filmmakers as part of BFI NETWORK.
Doc Society is working to open up the first funds, which run until March 2022, in early 2018.
Over the past 12 years, Doc Society have previously supported feature documentaries such as CITIZENFOUR, Notes On Blindness, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer and The Look of Silence.
The BFI said that the organisation was selected through an open application process, and demonstrated “inspiring proposals to support creativity and craft excellence” alongside a “spirit of enterprise, its extensive international network and a track record of helping to develop globally recognised documentaries”.
Doc Society is aiming to focus on regional and national opportunities so talent can tell “transformational” stories in the genre, and will use a “creative approach” to reach audiences and reflect a “rapidly evolving distribution space”.
Previous projects from the BFI Film Fund’s slate include Notes on Blindness, Kingdom of Us and Grace Jones: Bloodlight And Bami.
Sandra Whipham, director of Doc Society, said: “We are thrilled with this partnership with the BFI and the opportunity it gives us to enable brilliant British documentary films to shine on an international stage.”
“What excites us most is that it will also give us the means to spot, develop and nurture new British documentary talent in a strategic and meaningful way.”
Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund, added: “Documentaries have always been a deeply integral aspect of our work, and we believe that partnering with Doc Society is an opportunity to advance UK documentary film and filmmakers.
“Doc Society have a zeal for the form which is energising, they have shown a clear ability to unlock alternative financing sources, as well as impressive national and international reach.
“We are also thrilled to be able to deliver more structured opportunities for new and emerging documentary talent through Doc Society working closely with BFI NETWORK.”