Netflix rewards Derry with £40,000 for documentary film

A duo from Northern Ireland have received £40,000 through Netflix’s first UK Documentary Talent Fund.

Filmmakers Sean Mullan and Michael Barwise, from Derry, were among the ten teams chosen for the award launched on Friday morning.

Their short documentary, HYFINwill focus on Jordan-Lee Brady-James aka HYFIN, a young man from Derry in between, who is told a Northern Irish accent can’t rap.

Their documentary description reads: “Are you listening to me? If people can’t understand you, should you talk anyway? Derry-born Jordan-Lee Brady-James had his dualities spelled out from day one .

“Growing up in a city where everyone could be British, Irish or both, Jordan-Lee just wanted to be a professional swimmer. His dreams of escaping the daily grind of Derry came to a halt, as he lay twisted into a crashed vehicle.

“While waiting for an ambulance, he turned on the car radio; between that date and his recovery, HYFIN was born. Fueled by an education in the in-between times, HYFIN seeks to become Derry’s 1st professional rapper.”

Netflix will stream a £400,000 fundraiser to fund ten aspiring filmmakers from across the UK and each team will create their own 8-12 minute documentary short, meeting the brief: Britain is not boring and here is a story.

A shortlist of 21 filmmaking teams were invited to pitch to Netflix on Friday, May 21, and the 10 winning teams were then selected by a panel of top industry professionals including Akua Agyemfra, Jamal Edwards MBE , Joanna Natasegara, Jonny Taylor, Kate Townsend, Kirsten Johnson, Lindsey Dryden and Shanida Scotland.

Short documentary film ideas were chosen to fill out the brief, as well as for their creativity and vision – the ten films encompass a variety of ideas that highlight a unique perspective on “life, culture and experience British”.



Sean and Michael

Kate Townsend, Director of Original Documentaries at Netflix, said: “We are thrilled to announce the winners of our first-ever Documentary Talent Fund. We were very impressed with the wealth of entries received and the originality demonstrated at all levels, and would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s well-deserved winning teams.

“This is such an exciting glimpse into the future talent of British documentary filmmakers and we look forward to working together to enable each team to realize the potential of documentary filmmaking.”

Filmmakers will be supported by a mentorship program, with Netflix and WDW Entertainment working closely with teams to ensure they have a strong network of industry figures to guide them through the filmmaking process. of the movie. Each team will also be equipped with Covid-19 guidance to help inform and ensure a safe approach to every stage of production.

The final documentary films will be delivered in January 2022 and will be shown at a screening event to help advance the filmmakers’ careers. In their final form, the films will live on Netflix UK’s social media channels, with potential for further development and each team will own and retain their own copyrights throughout the process.

Further information is available at www.netflixdocfund.co.uk.

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