First placements and training announced for Channel Four, BBC Cymru Wales and S4C funded Factual Fast Track development programme

19 May 2020

● Six producers selected for Factual Fast Track Wales following highly competitive recruitment campaign

● Factual Fast Track to continue as industry adjusts to new ways of working

● First Fast Track placement for development exec starts at Cardiff Productions

● Vital training initiative moved online and opened out to all shortlisted candidates

Following a highly competitive recruitment process, six of Wales' most talented producers have been selected to be part of this ambitious, game changing development programme.The Fast Track package includes paid production and broadcast placements, bespoke training and commissioner and peer mentoring. The programme is responding to a need identified by both indies and broadcasters to invest in fast tracking the next generation of factual creative leaders in Wales. To support the development of a bilingual workforce, two of the six places are earmarked for Welsh speakers

In spite of the impact Covid-19 has had on production, Fast Track's funders and steering committee remain committed to supporting the development programme and doing everything possible to identify suitable placements for the successful producers. The training package is moving online starting this month with courses in storytelling, commentary writing leadership and management, development and pitching, negotiating and influencing and tackling bullying and harassment.

The successful Fast Trackers are Gwenllian Hughes, Laura Martin Robinson, Carrie Smith, Eve White, Tammy Kennedy and Luke Pavey.

The selection panel included commissioners from each funding broadcaster (BBC Cymru Wales, Channel Four and S4C) and 22 producers were invited for interview.Recruitment was completed three weeks before lockdown with early conversations about production placements taking place just a week before social distancing guidance were introduced.

Factual Fast Track Programme Director Hannah Corneck says: In these challenging times, supporting our freelancers has never been more critical. TV production across the UK has been hit hard by Covid-19 and it's more important than ever to help producers navigate the choppy waters of a freelance career at a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

To maximise the impact of Factual Fast Track, the development programme's training offering has been extended to all candidates shortlisted for interview.This decision comes at no extra cost and broadens the reach of the programme to benefit an additional 16 freelance producers in Wales.

Securing Fast Track placements in this climate presents the challenge of balancing the requirements for responsible social distancing with industry and business needs.Cardiff Productions is a new Cardiff based factual and digital production company led by former Sugar Films' executives Narinder Minhas and Pat Younge. The company has recruited Fast Tracker Tammy Kennedy as their development exec

Pat Younge, MD of Cardiff Productions says: Factual Fast Track is a great way to support career development of the next generation of creative leaders in Wales. It's been great to have someone with Tammy's experience join us as a development exec, and for us to be able to support her growth whilst learning from her at the same time."

Development exec Fast Tracker Tammy Kennedy: Having designated mentors who are experts in the field to guide me, especially in these turbulent times feels like it will be invaluable in helping me move forward with my career in development. In my placement I'm having the opportunity to meet and discuss my ideas with network commissioners who seemed unreachable before, as well as supporting my ideas and helping me shape them into more commissionable packages. It feels a very exciting, rewarding and well thought out scheme to be a part of which is completely bespoke to my needs, and so far, exceeding my expectations.

Wales already has an enviable reputation in factual production – including shows such as Sun, Sea and Brides to Be, Bargain Hunt, The Ganges with Sue Perkins, The 1900 Island, The One Show, Cynefin and Drych. Broadcasters are keen to accelerate the growth of the sector and ensure Wales has the talent to meet the growing demand for high-end skills and working across both national languages.

Factual Fast Trackers 2020

Tammy Kennedy: Development Exec

Tammy is a business winning development producer with substantial experience as a self-shooting PD.She runs her own production company, Little Bird Films whose most successful commission is the Hayley Goes brand. Capitalising on Hayley's popularity as a character on The Call Centre (BBC Three), Little Bird pitched a series in which Hayley puts the lifestyle choices facing her generation to the test.Series three is about to TX on BBC Three and BBC Wales.Little Bird also originated and produced the food entertainment show Bwyd Bach Shumana a Catrin for S4C.

Tammy has been responsible for generating and developing factual entertainment, documentaries and specialist factual content for BBC One, BBC Two, Discovery and S4C.She honed her craft as a developer at the BBC where she was instrumental in securing and producing high profile output such as The Museum of Life, Top Dogs: Adventures in War, Sea and Ice and Alexandra Tolstoy's Horse People (all BBC Two), Egypt: What Lies Beneath, Rome's Lost Cities (BBC One) and Weatherman Walking (BBC Wales).Editorially confident and a strong self-shooter, Tammy continues to develop and pitch for Little Bird Films while keeping her PD skills sharp producing successful and popular factual content.

Laura Martin Robinson: Series Producer

Laura is an award-winning documentary director.Her film Richard and Jaco: A Life with Autism (BBC Wales) won two BAFTA Cymru awards for Best Documentary and Best Director. The film received 20 million views on BBC Stories.

Laura's recent series, Warriors: Our Homeless World Cup about the Welsh women's homeless football team (BBC Wales) was critically acclaimed in the national press as was Giving Up My Baby (BBC3) presented by Stacey Dooley.Laura learnt her craft as a documentary maker on Louis Theroux's Behind Bars and A Place for Paedophiles and first independent film The Dead Letter Detectives was shortlisted for the Channel 4 Talent Awards and selected for Britdoc and Birdseyeview festivals.

Laura recently won a Women in Film at TV fund and is currently developing a film about Greenham Common, whilst finishing a documentary about a male trans YouTube star who has granted her unprecedented access to his complete surgery.

Luke Pavey: Exec Producer

Luke is a BAFTA Cymru award-winning documentary film-maker. His recent documentary Critical: Inside Intensive Care for BBC Wales Cymru, was filmed by the medical teams working at The Royal Gwent hospital in Newport as they cared for patients with Covid 19. As a series producer and director, Luke works on productions such as Cornwall: This Fishing Life (BBC Two) and Critical: Inside Intensive Care (BBC Wales) from development to delivery. Luke is a core member of the newly formed Cardiff-based indie Frank Films, working alongside creative directors Steve Robinson and Jamie Balment.

Previously Luke worked at Folk Films and Indus Films where he produced numerous series including The River Taff with Will Millard (BBC Wales & BBC Four) and The Family Farm (BBC Wales & BBC Two). He has also worked across a range of their factual output with roles on The Ganges with Sue Perkins (BBC One), Wild Shepherdess with Kate Humble (BBC Two) and The Fishermen's Apprentice with Monty Halls (BBC Two).

Luke has also worked with BBC in-house teams on prime-time productions such as Coast (BBC Two), as well as making the documentary films Locked in My Body and Bad Boy Boxer (BBC Three).

Eve White: Series Producer

Eve is a highly experienced producer director working across popular and specialist factual.Her credits span a broad range of channels, audiences and genres. As producer, director and edit producer, she has been involved in the production of hugely popular network and nations projects including multiple series of the living history franchise Back in Time (BBC Two), Timeshift (BBC4), Countryfile and Flog It! (BBC One) and The Massacre that Shook the Empire (Channel Four).

Selected for the Edinburgh International TV Festival's prestigious Ones to Watch industry training scheme in 2018, Eve has recently finished producing and directing for the second series of Hayley Goes (BBC Three/BBC One Wales) and is about to take up her first series producer role on a brand-new prime-time format for BBC Cymru Wales.

Eve has considerable experience producing and directing for Bristol and Cardiff indies including Wall to Wall West, Sugar Films, Wildflame Productions and Little Bird Films.She has led on complex ensemble-casting for living history, pitched and shaped her own arts documentary and taken all the content she has directed through from concept to production and into the edit.

Carrie Smith: Series Producer

Carrie Smith is an award-winning film-maker. She is a director, producer and edit producer with experience across a wide range of popular factual content including observational documentaries, popular factual and digital content for the UK's biggest dramas.

Carrie filmed, produced and directed The Greatest Gift, a series documenting the change in the law for organ donation which won Best Factual Series at the BAFTA (Cymru) awards. She is an expert access negotiator and has successfully secured access to several police forces across the UK as well as multiple private businesses such as hotels and veterinary practices.

Carrie was a senior producer on The Wanted (BBC One), a fifteen-part series which she helped to shape in the edit and deliver worldwide. She also filmed and produced fact ent content for The One Show and series produced Weatherman Walking (BBC One Wales).

Most recently Carrie has been producing behind the scenes content and creating high concept digital features for drama co-pro series.She has been filming in Tokyo and South Africa with on-screen talent and showrunners for Gentleman Jack (BBC & HBO), GIRI/HAJI (BBC / Netflix) and Peaky Blinders.

Gwenllian Hughes: Series Producer

Gwenllian Hughes is a highly experienced award-winning producer/director specialising in high-quality, character-driven documentaries.Her credits include The Incurable Optimist (BBC One Wales) which won a BAFTA Cymru Award in 2019, following two BAFTA Cymru nominations for Rhod Gilbert: Stand up to Shyness (BBC One Wales) the year before, and multi award-winning, theatrically-released, feature doc, Jack to a King about Swansea City FC in 2015.

Gwen is experienced in all aspects of production and worked as Head of Production at Indus Films where she oversaw all the company's output including numerous BBC Network docs such as the BAFTA winning Amazon with Bruce Parry, Inside London's Markets and Eiger: Wall of Death.She is the Founder and MD of the up-and-coming, independent production company, Kailash Films and is currently nurturing and growing the company.

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