Who needs religious documentaries?

Talk to some broadcasters and you’ll hear the opinion that religious documentaries are old-fashioned – a survival from an earlier, tightly regulated era – concerned mostly with ruined buildings and men in strange clothing.

Others argue that, far from being dated, the genre is the best guide to different faiths, not just of the people we see on the news but of the people we meet at the school gates or queue next to at the post office. They argue that such programmes also provide opportunities to explore important life questions about how we live and how we find meaning and purpose.

In this discussion Roger Bolton, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Feedback’ and a former Controller of Documentaries, explored the creative opportunities that exist for programme-makers in this area and asked whether there is a market for them.

He was joined on stage by:

  • Martin Davidson, BBC TV’s newly appointed Head of Specialist Factual Commissioning;
  • Peter Weil, CEO of CTVC, the award-winning independent production company specialising in religious programming and a former channel controller at the Discovery Channel in the US;
  • Abdul-Rehman Malik, Director of the Insight Film Festival and founder of the Radical Middle Way, a social justice foundation.

A full audio recording of the session can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/sandfordawards/sheffield-docfest-religious-docs-who-needs-them-1

For more information visit – https://sheffdocfest.com/sessions/4151

Want to know what delegates attending the festival think of religious documentaries?  Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/sandfordawards/sheffield-docfest-what-do-people-think-of-religious-documentaries