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Big Ballet [2014]

“To watch people who love to dance get the chance – and to be good at it – after they’ve spent years being too embarrassed or discouraged to do so just because of their size is, I’m here to tell you, quite uplifting. There was nothing to laugh at, except perhaps yourself for allowing tears to spill over your lower lids while watching a TV programme.” – Tim Dowling, The Guardian

“Sweet, heart-warming but with a necessary dose of reality… This was a frank and refreshing glimpse into a rarefied world obsessed with size.” – Patrick Smith, Telegraph

Series directed by Kirsty Cunningham

Rare Day / Channel 4

The Man Who Buys Anything

The Man Who Buys Anything [2013]

If you’ve ever wondered where market traders and pound shops get their products from, here’s your answer: Former second-hand car salesman Steve Elwis and his company, Virrgo. From family-run businesses that have finally gone under, to famous stores in administration and manufacturers who’ve made too much, Steve and his team are out on the road doing deals. This film explores the hidden world of people desperately trying to claw back money from bankrupt stock. Steve has to be sure that whatever he buys, he can sell. Giving a new perspective on Britain during the economic downturn, watch this real-life Del Boy walk the thin line between profit and loss.
Reviews

“Programmes like this don’t just need stories, they need big characters. And Steve’s fills an hour of television like his boxes fill his warehouse, to the rafters. He’s brilliant and appalling… Anyone who missed it should catch up, it was dead good.” – The Guardian

“Following this would-be Del Boy as he scours recession-hit Britain in his white BMW offers a knockabout vision of the sharp end of the economy. Steve’s whole life is a high-speed, low-rent Apprentice task, which makes for a great watch.” – Radio Times

Directed by Sam Emmery

Firecracker Films

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Mum And Dad Are Splitting Up [2013]

This shattering film is as simple as the title suggests: it merely points a camera at some teenagers and asks them about the breakdown of their parents’ relationship. But what it reveals is the tremendous pain and desperation they felt and in many cases continue to feel.” Sunday Times

“Olly Lambert is one of the most accomplished filmmakers working in television today. He makes films about subjects that matter; he films them with the eye of a cinematographer and he has the rare gift of getting people to open up in front of the camera with an honestly that is intensely moving. If he didn’t make films, he would probably be a brilliant counsellor.” The Times

“The tremendous documentarian Olly Lambert entered the war zone of failed marriage… This exquisitely painful film should be available at every branch of Relate.” Andrew Billen, The Times

“An exemplary piece of documentary making – compassionate, truthful, and sensitive enough to know that when the tears start rolling that’s the camera’s cue to stop.” The Arts Desk

“Terribly sad and deeply affecting. What could have been horribly exploitative becomes revealing and deeply involving, thanks to Lambert’s canny combination of fearlessness and empathy.” Time Out

Directed by Olly Lambert

Rare Day / BBC2

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Iceland Foods: The Secret Ingredient [2013]

Malcolm Walker, the maverick CEO of Iceland supermarkets, believes that his shoot-from-the-hip leadership holds the key to a happier workforce and profits too.

This series follows the fortunes of Iceland as Malcolm opens the doors to his Willy Wonka style empire and shares the secrets of the food, the boardroom, and the colourful life of the stores.

Christmas is the most competitive time of the supermarket calendar and shop floor staff need to make sure that Iceland does well. At stake is £10,000 cash in a briefcase, hand-delivered by Malcolm. But the new year brings a crisis with the alleged discovery of horse meat in Iceland beefburgers.

Series Producer Alisa Pomeroy
Series Director James Rogan

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Skint [2013]

“It could have been awful – gawpy and patronising, or worthy and dull. It’s none of those things. It’s funny, fair, frank. And it still manages to highlight the very real issues of poverty in this country.” – Sam Wallaston, The Guardian

“This was TV as a window into lives that most people in this country have no way of comprehending, and the makers had captured them in the raw. It wasn’t fun, but it was compelling and insightful.” – Chris Harvey, The Telegraph

Skint gets behind the headlines as people who are often maligned for their lifestyle offer their own story and show the real impact of worklessness.

Told with energy, humour and boldness, the series offers an insight into their lives, highlighting social issues such as youth unemployment, crime, welfare dependency, truancy and addiction; but with the characters also revealing their ingenuity, resilience, community support and love and pride of family.

At its height Scunthorpe’s steelworks employed 27,000 people. It now employs a sixth of that number. With work in the town still hard to find, the people featured in this series are thrown back on their own resources.

Skint tells the provocative and revealing stories of people who are in long-term unemployment, have never worked, or are growing up without any expectation of working.

Series Producer – James Bluemel

Keo Films / Channel 4

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Syria: Across the Lines [2013]

WINNER – BAFTA for Best Current Affairs programme
WINNER – Grierson Award for Best Current Affairs Documentary
WINNER – AIB Award for Best Middle East Documentary
WINNER – Rory Peck Award for Best Feature
WINNER – RTS Craft award for Best Documentary Editing (for Christopher Swayne)
FINALIST – Broadcast Award for Best News and Current Affairs Programme
FINALIST – Documentary of the Year, Foreign Press Association

“A brave, astonishing attempt to show the real Syria…. [The film] compelled you to face the brutal truth of the civil war.” The Daily Telegraph

“Mesmerising… simply the most powerful film to have come out of the war in Syria. There are not that many programmes on television that demand to be seen, but this is one of them.” David Chater, The Times

“Lambert makes [the civil war] viscerally comprehensive, while presenting the purest interpretation of ‘fair and balanced’ most of us are ever likely to see: He doesn’t just get both sides of the story, but could have easily died in the process of getting them.” Newsday

“An extraordinary achievement. I urge anybody who wonders what this war has now become, to sit down, turn off the mobile and watch.” Alex Thomson, Chief Correspondent C4 news

“A particularly brave bit of film-making, deftly capturing the absurdity and the pathos of the ongoing struggle in Syria, whilst never side-stepping the horrors either.” Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“A brilliant piece of reporting… a piercing portrait of a nation being torn apart.” Radio Times

“Lambert’s bloody, brave, and bloody brave film took no side, nor did it attempt to explain the religious and ideological division that prompted war”. Andrew Billen, The Times

“Gripping, must see war footage” Sen John McCain

[Also transmitted as “Syria Behind The Lines” on PBS Frontline, April 9th 2013]

Directed by Olly Lambert

Quicksilver Media / Channel 4 – Dispatches / PBS – Frontline

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Parking Mad [2013]

This film follows the stories of Council Parking Enforcement Departments who issue tickets and the motorists who have decided to revolt against the system and fight back against their local councils.

“Full of British eccentrics, Parking Mad was highly entertaining and at points it had me laughing out loud.” – Sameer Rahim, The Telegraph

Directed by James Ross

Century Films / BBC1

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Mr Understood [2013]

“Television rarely catches the inner life this well, nor attempts characters so complex.” – The Guardian

Written & Directed by Kate Hardie, co-created by Grayson Perry.

Mr Understood tells the story of a young man attending his first transvestite weekend away, plagued by the personification of his self doubt.

Sky Arts – Playhouse Presents

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Football, Madness and Me [2013]

“Brilliant” – The Observer

“The disarmingly brutal honesty shown by the subjects of this documentary makes for engaging viewing” – The Guardian

Hayley, Jamal and Adam all suffer from severe mental illness. But now they are joining an extraordinary football league run by occupational therapists where every player suffers from a mental illness, from schizophrenia to depression and OCD. Filming over a year, both on the pitch and in their lives, this is the story of their struggle. Can football really help them recover?

Directed by Kate Taunton

Blast Films / BBC3

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Banged Up Abroad: Vegas Mobster [2013]

*also broadcast as Locked Up Abroad

It’s 1979 and Chicago mobster Frank Cullotta heads to Las Vegas for more opportunity. His Hole in the Wall gang becomes notorious for their high-stakes robberies. Eventually, his thievery comes to an end when the FBI catches up with him. They want him to testify against his mob.

Directed by Peter Norrey

RAW Television / Channel 5 / National Geographic / Discovery

 

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My Child the Rioter [2012]

“This was the best TV journalism on the riots so far….. My Child the Rioter made you think so hard about a well-covered subject that you changed your mind several times even while watching.” Andrew Billen, The Times.

” Riveting… Here is a fascinating view of crime, punishment, morality and parenting in today’s Britain – complex areas simply illuminated”. Martin James, Sunday Times

“Devastatingly straightforward” The Guardian

“An outstanding documentary…. Instead of taking the usual shrill, censorious line, Olly Lambert’s film was carefully understated and more puzzled than anything else.” John Porter, Sunday Telegraph

“Excellent” Deborah Orr, The Guardian.

“Brilliant… As always the truth is rather less black and white than the Prime Minister imagined.” The Times

“Excellent…. You’d have to be absolutely blameless yourself as a parent to confidently announce that it was adult delinquency alone that had produced this result. I couldn’t manage the necessary self-righteousness.” Tom Sutcliffe, Independent on Sunday

Directed by Olly Lambert

BBC2 – Wonderland

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Gordon Behind Bars [2012]

Gordon Ramsay is going to prison to attempt the impossible: make offenders pay their way. Most prisoners sit around all day, while the public forks out for them to do so. And it costs taxpayers a fortune to keep criminals in prison – £38,000 a year, £2 billion a year. In a time of recession and budget cuts, this money has to be found at the expense of schools and hospitals.

In this explosive new series Gordon’s going to be locked up in the infamous Brixton Prison. He’s going to try and set up a catering company within the prison. He will grab some of the nation’s toughest prisoners, teach them to cook on the inside to sell on the outside. Gordon’s had first-hand experience of how prison shaped his brother, now he’s going to experience life inside prison. There’s a host of forces arranged against Gordon: prison bureaucracy; the unreliable criminal workforce and sceptical retailers. And above all – can Gordon persuade the great British public to eat food made by prisoners?

The series lifts the lid on the unknown world of prisons and prisoners, while revealing an ambitious solution to one of the biggest social problems facing us today– how to make criminals pay something back.

An One Potato Two Potato production for Channel 4

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Young, Bright And On The Right [2012]

“tragic, funny, warm, and fair too” – Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

The story of two boys with a dream to scale the heights of Oxbridge university politics, the fabled nursery slopes for Westminster.

Both Chris Monk, 19 and Joe Cooke, 21, are passionate about politics and have been Conservatives from a tender age. Now they face an academic term that could make or break their future political careers. Despite the three-piece suits and plummy vowels, both are state-school educated and see themselves as outsiders in the Oxbridge social and political scene.

When Joe tries to effect change and bring about reform in the society, he comes head-to-head with 88 years of tradition. Will he eventually turn his back on a life in politics? And will Chris have the knowhow to impress the members of the political elite he aspires to?

Directed by Alisa Pomeroy

Princess / BBC2 – Wonderland

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Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder: The Big Clear Out [2012]

When he first appeared on TV, chronic hoarder Richard Wallace was living in squalor. His hoarding was so out of control that his own life was in danger. Mountains of papers and packaging filled his home from floor to ceiling and, worryingly, surrounded his gas cooker where he made his boiled eggs and toast. Richard was shunned by many of the residents of Westcott Village until landscape gardener Andy Honey offered to help.Becoming Richard’s closest friend, Andy rallied the village to help clear over 60 tonnes of rubbish from Richard’s garden. Six months later, Andy is still by Richard’s side.

Now they are trying to deal with the bigger problem of clearing Richard’s home to make it safe, but Richard can’t let anything go. Inside the bungalow the dangers have got worse and he now has an extraordinary ‘death tunnel’ in his kitchen that he has to crawl through every day. Progress is slow and, despite Andy’s best efforts, the local NHS mental health team for professional support were called in. Opinions in the village about Richard are mixed. Some residents want to cook him meals and help clear the house, but others are frustrated by the ongoing mess and cost to the local council. And when Andy and Richard’s friendship takes an unexpected twist, some locals start to question Andy’s motives for helping.

Directed by Christian Trumble

RDF / Zodiak / Channel 4

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Lust for Life [2012]

‘Lust for Life’ featured as part of BBC Four’s Storyville Survivors season in 2012. It is based on the true life story of director Heather Leach’s battle with thyroid disease and cancer.

“The film was shot over 3 and a half years and all the way through it’s been a very intimate production… The music was created by Mat Davidson who like everyone involved in the documentary, had some kind of connection to, and knowledge of, what I was going through. The documentary begins with a heightened scene of birds flying overhead, but rather than being an ominous sign of what’s to come the birds are depicted more as the recurring theme of freedom. This imagery does fade slightly as the story progresses and the focus turns away from me and on to my family. Making this film was not only a vehicle to get through the ordeal, but also helped me arrive at the conclusion that I needed more laughter in life, even more so than I had before.”

Directed by Heather Leach

Ginger Army / BBC4 Storyville

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Kill Your Idols [2012]

Peppi longs to be friends with the other local girls. She finally gets her chance to earn their favour when their rockstar idol comes to stay at her father George’s hotel, but rockstar Jack has other things on his mind and isn’t willing to give her an autograph as proof. Peppi isn’t one to give up though, and she’ll get her proof whatever crazy way she can.

Written & Directed by Leevi Lemmetty

Produced by Tamsin Lyons

Ink & Light

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The Invasion of Lampedusa [2011]

In the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011, the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa saw the arrival of over 40,000 migrants from Tunisia and Libya, all seeking refuge or a better life in Europe. Situated just 70 miles from the north African coast, the island soon becomes the front line of Europe’s immigration crisis – its small migrant reception centre overflows, the island’s tourist economy faces meltdown and locals openly revolt, blockading the small port and riot in the streets.

The islanders are as divided as Europe on to how to respond to the crisis. But local lawyer Paola La Rosa comes to see the bigger picture. “Europe and the USA got really enthusiastic about the freedom movements in North Africa,” she says. “They didn’t understand that these peoples had a revolution in order to be free, and fundamental this freedom is the freedom to move. The West would like them to be free, but at home…”.

Nominated for Best Documentary, One World Media awards

Directed by Olly Lambert

BBC2

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Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder [2011]

“Tender, insightful and ultimately transcendent, this comes highly recommended” – Time Out

“An absorbing documentary” – The Telegraph

“Surprisingly uplifting” – The Daily Mail

“An extraordinary film” – The Guardian

Directed by Christian Trumble

*Nominated for a Grierson Award, and highest rated one-off documentary for Channel 4 in 2011

RDF / Zodiak / Channel 4 – Cutting Edge

 

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Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard [2011]

“A bold, engaging and moving documentary … an arresting and extremely watchable film”  Mark Adams, Chief Film Critic, Screen International

“Richard Kuchera, the flawed subject of Joshua Neale’s documentary, has a personality ready made for the movies… Neale’s asset is an ability to capture his painfully intimate asides” – Eric Kohn, Lead film Critic, Indie Wire

“A bracing antidote to the formulaic reality shows about recovery” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Soulful folk music and rich characters bring levity and humor to an emotional story of redemption” – Dave Itzkoff, New York Times

www.despicabledick.com

 

Directed by Joshua Neale

Produced by Sandra Whipham

Stealing Horses Films / BBC4 Storyville

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I’m Pregnant With Their Baby [2011]

Documentary telling the story of three young women who have each decided to give a childless couple the ultimate gift – a baby of their own.

Twenty-two-year-old Louise has her hands full with her own son, but she is determined to become pregnant for a couple who have wanted a baby for 13 years. Twenty-three-year-old Lyndsay has been so moved by a stranger’s struggle with cancer that she has decided to carry a baby for her. And aged just twenty, Shannon is too young to be a surrogate in the UK; but in two weeks she will be 21, and she is already on the hunt for her ideal couple.

Louise, Lyndsay and Shannon are among a small number of very young women who are signing up to be surrogate mums for couples they have only just met. But, as they discover, the reality of giving someone a baby is not exactly as they imagined it might be.

Directed by Gillian Pachter

BBC1

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Death of a Hedge Fund Salesman [2011]

“In December 2008, I began to make a film about my oldest friend, Tom. He had reached rock bottom after living a life in the fast lane, and was giving himself one last chance in life, planning to reinvent himself as a hedge fund salesman just as the global markets were collapsing. But when he suddenly dropped dead after two months of filming, the untold story of his life slowly came to light. His story becomes the story of the recklessness of an entire generation, and the film becomes a personal exploration of the psychology of deregulated Britain, seen through the prism of one man’s struggle to find meaning in his life.”Chloe Ruthven

Directed by Chloe Ruthven

Winner, Best Emerging Director, Open City Film Festival, June 2011.

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The Family [2010]

“Both simple and brilliant… eternally compelling… No novelist or poet could have put it better, nor could they come up with anything quite so richly entertaining as this simple look inside a modern British family.” Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“Shows family love that’s hard to replicate even in the best fiction” The Guardian, Pick of the Week

“A biopsy slice of the immigrant experience… It was funny and it was life, as it’s lived by a lot of us.” Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

Inspired by Paul Watson’s ground breaking documentary series in 1974, The Family is an intimate portrayal of the Adesina family in east London. For two months, they allowed 28 cameras and 40 microphones to be installed in their house while a Channel 4 team lived next door to film the twists and turns of family life. The resulting series was a moving portrayal of two very different generations living under the same roof.

Directed by Olly Lambert

Dragonfly / Channel 4

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Clan of the Meerkat [2010]

In the harsh and unforgiving Namib Desert, there are hunters, big and small. A brave clan of Meerkats struggle here, working together to cope in a hostile world. Facing jackals, snakes and birds of prey, as well as the harsh desert climate, life in this tightly-knit clan is full of drama.

Directed by Anne Sommerfield

National Geographic / Sky

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Can’t Bully Me [2010]

“A triumphant hour of inspiring human interest” – Gabriel Tate, Time Out

Four young people aged 12-14 endeavour to overcome the traumatic effects of bullying at a network of specialised centres for kids who’ve been so badly affected by their experiences that they can no longer attend mainstream school. Filmed over eight months, with unique access to the organisation, Billy, Adam, Phoenix and Toby are helped to come to terms with the past, overcome their fears and rebuild their confidence so they can return to mainstream life.

Directed by Kate Taunton

Minnow Films / BBC3

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Ross Kemp in the Middle East [2010]

One of the best, most insightful and balanced pieces of television I have seen explaining Israel’s unique situation… [The series] was superb: not just grippingly produced, but actually balanced. Sky has given the BBC a lesson in how to produce documentaries.” The Spectator

Kemp is in the hands of a TV production dream team…. The scenes are thrilling. They encapsulate the brilliance of the Ross Kemp phenomenon. Sky1 and his producers have understood that TV is a medium best suited to entertainment rather than worthiness. Kemp is the everyman of current affairs. He claims no special knowledge and arrives without an agenda, and then embarks on a journey that he may not actually survive. The viewer, meanwhile, picks up plenty of knowledge without even noticing.” Sam Kiley, Radio Times

Directed by Olly Lambert

Tiger Aspect / Sky

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Espara Un Milagro (Expect A Miracle) [2010]

* Winner: Best Foreign Film and Best Director, 2011 International Beverly Hills Film Festival

The world of the Untouchables, the most oppressed social group on the planet, and the life of Anne Perry, co-founder of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation.  The Untouchables of Anantapur, India have journeyed from the depths of poverty and humiliation into a new world of faith and light.

Directed by Gemma Ventura

Yakima Films

 

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Churchill’s Darkest Decision [2009]

“This intelligent, thought-provoking documentary reminded us of the blurred moralities of making war. “ – Daily Express

“A celebrated and faintly alarming photograph of Winston Churchill with a machine-gun was the motif for Churchill’s Darkest Decision, a fine and meticulously researched documentary, which showed that teary-eyed pride can be misplaced.” – The Independent

“A fascinating film.” – Daily Telegraph

“A riveting documentary […] a gripping story of an act that is either a war crime or a national salvation” – Daily Mail

“An absorbing film that shows Churchill at his most ruthless.” – The Sunday Times

Directed by Richard Bond

Furnace TV

Channel 4 / Worldwide

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Confessions of a Traffic Warden [2009]

Directed by Olly Lambert

“You will need a tourniquet for your broken heart… Olly Lambert’s fascinating, shocking and shaming film follows Durga as that ever present smile slowly starts to slide from his face when he begins work for the company contracted by Westminster City Council in London to issue parking tickets. He is so disillusioned that you will take it personally.” Radio Times, Pick of the Week

“This Cutting Edge film does so much more than it says on the tin. Judging by the experiences shown here, this country is fast becoming a place of greed, selfishness and rage that is increasingly removed from quaint, old-fashioned notions of courtesy and fair play.” Mail on Sunday, Pick of the Day,

“Olly Lambert’s film of the slow withering of Durga’s admiration for this country is beautifully made”. London Evening Standard, Pick of the Day.

“This latest doc from the excellent Olly Lambert will leave you informed and – if you have a heart – endowed with a new-found empathy…. If you’ve ever unleashed your anger on a poorly paid immigrant doing the dirty work of a multi-million pound corporation, watch this programme, understand and repent.” Time Out, Pick of the Day,

“It’s nothing short of mortifying to watch Durga’s buoyancy and optimism gradually seeping away, leaving a disillusioned man who, along with his colleagues, is shocked by London’s lack of humanity, dignity, honour and respect”. Daily Mail, Pick of the Day.

“Confessions of a Traffic Warden belies its jokey title: this heart-rending film makes one ashamed to be British.” Financial Times, Pick of the Day

“No film in the world is going to make you like traffic wardens, but Olly Lambert’s documentary pulls off the remarkable trick of making you see them as human.” Daily Mirror, Pick of the Day.

“Olly Lambert’s powerful Confessions of a Traffic Warden was richly observed…. It was heartbreaking and shaming, especially as we saw over and over again the most disgusting, virulent racism and rudeness directed at the wardens. But this was a documentary of many layers…” Tim Teeman, The Times

Betty / Channel 4 – Cutting Edge