Last week, a shortlist of 21 filmmaking teams from across the UK were invited to Netflix to pitch a documentary short film between 8-12 minutes long, answering the brief: “Britain’s Not Boring And Here’s a Story.” Ten of these would then be picked to receive £40,000 of funding towards financing their film as part of the 2021 Netflix Documentary Talent Fund.
The winning teams were selected by a judging panel comprised of leading industry professionals, including: Akua Agyemfra (Cultural Strategist, bea.London / #Merky), Jamal Edwards MBE (Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of SB.TV), Joanna Natasegara (Producer, Director & Founder of Academy Award®-winning production company, Violet Films), Jonny Taylor (Original Documentaries Commissioning at Netflix), Kate Townsend (Director of Original Documentaries Commissioning at Netflix), Kirsten Johnson (Award-winning Director, Cinematographer & Cameraperson), Lindsey Dryden (Emmy®-winning Producer, Director & Founder of Little By Little Films), and Shanida Scotland (Head of Film at Doc Society).
The winners incorporate a range of filmmaking experiences from locations across the UK – including filmmakers from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Manchester, London, Bristol, Gloucestershire, and Liverpool. From a filmmaker previously unable to secure funding for their examination into a profoundly queer school year in the West Country; to fish merchants and a very hungry seal at Billingsgate Market; to a first-time director that has recently abandoned the corporate world to pursue a career in filmmaking – all of the films will provide a remarkable insight into why Britain is not boring.
The winning teams and their pitches are detailed below (in alphabetical order):
- 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, Twinkleberry – Twinkleberry 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 U.K.’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
- Tobi Kyeremateng & Tania Nwachukwu, ÓWÀMBÈ – An intergenerational docu-fiction film on ÓWÀMBÈ in Britain – the life and soul of Nigerian party culture
Main Image: Judges Joanna Natasegara, Akua Agyemfra and Jonny Taylor