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ITN Archive and Channel 4 Launch Documentary Talent Hunt

23 February 2006

New BRITDOC Festival to Provide Commissioning Opportunity for Emerging British Filmmakers

A new documentary competition launched today aims to give emerging British documentary filmmakers a golden opportunity to showcase their talent at the new BRITDOC Festival (Oxford, July 26th – 28th 2006). The competition is a partnership between ITN Archive and Channel 4 and requires entrants to prepare a pitch for a 3-minute documentary. Entries will use the humble bicycle as their subject matter and will be required to use footage from ITN Archive’s extensive collection. The four best ideas will be commissioned by Channel 4 and broadcast in its on going 3 Minute Wonder slot, airing in July 06.

ITN Archive is offering free use of the 700,000 plus hours of footage that make up its extensive archive. Dating back from 1896 to the present day, ITN Archive’s collection spans the entire history of moving images, from the first newsreels to the birth of commercial television. ITN Archive exclusively licenses footage from ITN News, Reuters Television, Fox News, Fox Movietone, British Pathé, Channel 4 (UK) and Granada productions along with other specialist sources.

The idea of the bicycle is open to the widest possible interpretation. Filmmakers can focus on a single story or event (George Bush falling off his bicycle – May 22nd 2004) or combine pieces of archive from many different years. They can take the subject head on with a story about the Tour de France or come at it sideways with a film about a factory in China that happens to make bicycles.

Sue Thexton, Managing Director of ITN Archive, said: “Ideally suited for documentary makers, archive is a dynamic, creative and versatile source of content. Working with the new BRITDOC Festival and our partners at Channel 4, this competition will see the UK’s brightest documentary makers putting their considerable talents to showing just how creative they can be using ITN Archive footage.”

The winning entrants will receive:
- A fixed budget to make a 3-minute film, working with independent production company RAW Television ( Free use of ITN’s archive footage in their film - The winning four films will be broadcast in the 3 Minute Wonder strand on Channel 4 in July 2006 and shown on the ITN website- The winning films will be screened at BRITDOC 06, a major new documentary festival being held in Oxford from 26-28 July - Winners will be invited to attend the festival and will receive a free delegate pass, board and lodging at the festival (worth £400)
Peter Dale, Head of More4, said: “Nurturing and encouraging new talent is vital if we want Britain to continue to be the home of the brightest documentary talent, and this competition is a fantastic way of encouraging new filmmakers to get their films on air. The ITN Archive provides a wonderful source of inspiration and I look forward to seeing some exciting and fresh ideas.”

Editor’s Notes

Entry requirements:

Filmmakers must either be British or have been based in the UK for the last 6 months (proof of residence may be required). The competition is open to filmmakers who do not yet have a major broadcast credit. The deadline for applications is 7 April 2006. The four successful filmmakers will be announced on or before 14 April 2006 on
Filmmakers must be available to work on their film between 1st May and 23rd June 2006.
3-Minute Wonder 3-Minute Wonder is Channel 4’s documentary strand for new talent that transmits at 7.55pm on weekday nights directly after the news. It is commissioned as a series of four films that run from Monday to Thursday. This slot provides a unique opportunity for new directors to tackle intelligent and ambitious issues in the prime-time arena. ITN Archive ITN Archive is one of the world’s leading commercial archives, with over 680,000 hours of material across a unique range of collections including historical footage, iconic images, music, entertainment programmes, natural history, recreations and films. ITN Archive represents the collections of British Pathé, Reuters, Granada, Channel 4, Fox News, Fox Movietone and other specialist collections.


ITN Archive London Mark Tuban:
Marketing Manager+44 20 7430 4482

Stewart Muir Communications
Jason Bird: +44 20 8971 6414
Louise Stewart-Muir:
+44 20 8971 6400