BBC World Service and Sundance Institute launch new collaboration

15 June 2017

The BBC World Service and Sundance Institute have announced a new collaboration to produce a series of radio documentaries and podcasts for launch in 2018. The partnership will allow for up to six new projects exploring the theme of ‘Neighbour’, with the resulting radio programmes airing on the BBC World Service, also available as podcasts, and accompanied by visual storytelling online.

Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English said: “We’re very excited about collaborating with Sundance Institute who share our passion for the very best storytelling. As radio continues to enjoy a renaissance and podcasting goes from strength to strength, we hope this collaboration might tempt documentary makers who’ve previously focused on film and TV to also explore audio. This series of creative, ambitious and thought provoking programmes will explore the world today for the wide BBC World Service global audience.”

Tabitha Jackson, Director of Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program, said: "We believe artful storytelling can transform conversations and cultures, and this collaboration with the BBC World Service offers another medium for the global community of nonfiction artists we support to shine a light on the world around us."

The collaboration provides an opportunity for documentary makers to tell stories in the English language for radio broadcast on the BBC World Service with its global audience of 75 million. Each project will comprise a half-hour or one-hour audio documentary for radio and podcast together with an accompanying thematically-related short visual story for the BBC’s web and social channels.

The series will be commissioned by Mary Hockaday, Controller BBC World Service English and Simon Pitts, Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service in consultation with Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute and Tabitha Jackson, Director of the Documentary Film Program at Sundance Institute.

For more information on the collaboration, please visit

Notes to Editors

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About BBC World Service
BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 28 other language services, on radio, TV and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 269 million. As part of BBC World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences. For more information, visit The BBC attracts a weekly global audience of 346 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and

About Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Boyhood, Swiss Army Man, Manchester By the Sea, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, Life, Animated, Sonita, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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