Five TV Newsbites Offered to New Filmmakers

Written by James MacGregor on . Posted in Finance

DFG logoChannel 5 News logoChannel 5 and DFG are challenging emerging filmmakers to look for strong, contemporary and domestic story-lines, from both London and the regions, with emphasis on the cultural richness and diversity of Britain, for network broadcast as part of Channel 5 news. They offer support and facilities to new filmmakers to meet their brief.  

Called Five Bites, this is a new initiative, produced by DFG Films in partnership with Five News. Five Bites gives filmmakers the opportunity to produce five 3-minute topical news films, from a fresh perspective, using the documentary medium in innovative and inspiring ways, and have them broadcast on Five News in summer 2006. 

DFG say they are looking for strong, contemporary and domestic story-lines, from both London and the regions, with emphasis on the cultural richness and diversity of Britain. Some experience of shooting and/or directing documentary material is necessary, however DFG will provide camera and sound crew, and close support throughout the project. There will be a short intensive training and research programme attached to the scheme. All selected filmmakers will have to take part in this programme. In all 5 filmmakers will be commissioned and the deadline for applicationsis 11th April 2006.

It is expected that these will be innovative films made with limited resources on a tight schedule.  Directors who complete these films will be expected to progress to directing other films for UK broadcasters and for other platforms.


The ideas must be topical and domestic but do not have to be immediate news. DFG say there are no set themes for the commissions. They will be looking for authored work by emerging documentary directors who are interested in news.

The company says the kind of things we may be looking for could include

DFG say the use of humour and irreverence in films will be welcome, within the parameters of a primetime pre-watershed slot. They aim to produce produce programming of quality, style and good content ready to engage a demanding, uncompromising and diverse audience.


Selection will be made by a panel comprising representatives from DFG Films and Channel Five. They will make their decision on these criteria:

The decision of the panel is final.  DFG Films cannot enter into any communication regarding unsuccessful applications.



People with experience of the documentary medium will have an advantage, as the selected filmmakers will be expected to be ready to direct, although hands-on support will be available throughout. Applicants need to be 100% committed to the project and flexible in your approach. Some decisions affecting the film will be influenced by the constraints of broadcast compliance.

Further information, including application downloads, from DFG website