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Netflix is returning with documentary talent fund for second year

Streaming giant Netflix has announced that its documentary talent fund will return for a second year. 

The Californian company will give five successful filmmakers £30,000 each and the chance to create a short documentary with their and other professionals’ help. 

Jason Osborne and Precious Mahaga, who were jointly announced as one of the ten filmmakers to receive £40,000 last year, went on to make Love Languages. Their project tells the tale of Black British men at an Afro-Caribbean barbershop in London, who each share personal experiences of love and loss. It was such a success that it was longlisted for best British short by BAFTA.

The other documentaries produced with the fund explored various topics, from beekeeping to the drag community and were widely celebrated. Together, they had over 40 festival screenings, including at the London Short Film Festival and the Iris Prize. 

Kate Townsend, the Vice President of Netflix’s Original Feature Documentaries, explained: “The filmmakers we collaborated with inspired and surprised us, and we’re so pleased with how they made the most of this opportunity.”

“The resulting films were varied in subject matter and style and provided a brilliant response to the brief”, she continued. “This year, we’re looking to go one step further on the theme of Connection, and we encourage filmmakers to interrogate this and come forward with their unique take and vision, whatever that looks like.”

Townsend will judge the new applicants alongside other film industry figures, including directors Orlando Von Einsiedel and Jenny Popplewell. Following this, the documentaries – which must be eight to 12 minutes long – will then be shared on Netflix’s social media accounts.

Additionally, successful applicants will also be involved in a host of Netflix workshops that help with finance, legal, creative, HR and production. 

The entries are open from today until February 16th, with the completed documentaries set for release in early 2024.