netflix doc fund

Source: Getty Images / Dave Benett

Beya Kabelu, Daisy Ifama

Netflix has selected the first recipients of its £400,000 Documentary Talent Fund, with 10 filmmaking teams from across the UK including Northern Ireland and Scotland.

A shortlist of 21 filmmaking teams were invited to pitch to Netflix on May 21. The winning teams were selected by an eight-person team of industry professionals, including Dick Johnson Is Dead director Kirsten Johnson; Shanida Scotland, head of film at Doc Society; and Kate Townsend, director of original documentaries commissioning at Netflix.

Each of the 10 teams will receive up to £40,000 in financing to create their own documentary short film between eight and 12 minutes long, to the brief ‘Britain’s Not Boring And Here’s A Story’.

The selected pitches cover topics including identity, community, self-belief, empowerment, disability, gender diversity and inclusion.

The filmmakers will be supported by a mentorship programme, working with Netflix and UK-based entertainment PR firm WDW Entertainment to create a network of industry figures to help guide them through the filmmaking process. Each team will also receive Covid-19 guidance to help ensure a safe production.

Netflix Documentary Talent Fund recipients 

  • Beya Kabelu, The Detective & The Thief – Every hour a dog in Britain is stolen. We’ll follow the hunt for the missing pets, from the detective tasked with finding them to loved ones left distraught;
  • Daisy Ifama, TwinkleberryTwinkleberry is a lighthearted documentary about my super gay school year that had 30+ queer students in one year group… in the middle of the West Country… during 2005 to 2012;
  • Dhivya Kate Chetty, Bee Whisperer Bee Whisperer is a tale of conservation, community and solidarity through one man and his bees;
  • Jakob Lancaster & Sorcha Bacon, Seal In The City – The only thing stopping London’s oldest fish market from being redeveloped into luxury flats is a seal, who has shown up there for breakfast every day for 15 years;
  • Jason Osborne & 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 & Aodh Breathnach, Tegan – A young black woman with cerebral palsy is how the world categorises Tegan Vincent Cook. What we discover is 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 & Shane ShayShay Konno, Peach Paradise – Non-binary Japanese-Irish drag artist storms UK’s cabaret scene with a gender-diverse, pan-Asian collective of bitten peaches, to dismantle racial stereotypes with love and glitter!;
  • Tavie Tiffany Agama, Women Of The Market -- Introducing the markets of London and the entrepreneurial women that operate within them; trading, chattering, flattering and most importantly earning. These are the Women of the Market; and
  • Tobi Kyeremateng & Tania Nwachukwu, ÓWÀMBÈ – An intergenerational docu-fiction film on ÓWÀMBÈ in Britain – the life and soul of Nigerian party culture.
  • What’s it like to go back to the cinema in the UK post-lockdown?