Commissioning Executive - Storyville

Job Introduction

Sat within BBC Films, Storyville is the broadcaster’s flagship feature documentary strand and showcases the best films from around the world. A pioneering brand, it consistently delivers a rich diversity of award-winning films to the BBC’s linear and online platforms and is renowned for films such as One Day in September, Blackfish, Death on the Staircase, The Mole: Infiltrating North Korea, Welcome to Chechnya, Collective and many more.

The Commissioning Executive at Storyville plays an important role in the commissioning process in delivering world class feature documentaries across BBC platforms, both linear and online. Working closely with Storyville’s Commissioning Editor, the Commissioning Executive will contribute to a strong development and production pipeline, assessing new proposals with confident editorial judgment and helping to oversee a strong slate of feature documentaries through to delivery.

The work is diverse and you will be responsible for bringing real expertise and experience to the role. You will have a good understanding of BBC editorial strategy in order to identify and progress the strongest ideas, to work with the best talent internationally on feature documentaries which have impact and garner audiences and critical acclaim. You will manage proposals submitted and monitor the relationships with suppliers. You will ensure commissions are based on a sound understanding of cost, quality, delivery date, rights exploitation , editorial and funding needs.  You will have a strong understanding of evolving audience requirements regarding digital content, ensuring that new forms of content are being considered as part of the commissioning process. You will develop and nurture ideas from proposal stage, through editing – providing clear and concise feedback to ensure filmmaking excellence to final delivery.  You will have a sound working knowledge of BBC ‘s editorial guidelines.  You will have editorial range to work across other docs output if required.

We continually seek new ways to engage our audiences by delivering compelling and distinctive films  in a highly competitive marketplace. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a committed, passionate and internationally connected team,  to play an important role within it and to work for an organisation that is diverse, challenging and rewarding with the opportunity to shape the future of public service broadcasting

Role Responsibility

Within this role you will proactively assess, develop and track incoming projects with a critical eye, identifying issues in advance and deciding whether to take them forward or reject them, with tact and timeliness

It will be your responsibility to Identify key industry talent and identify, manage and support new and upcoming talent and guide them in the filmmaking process.

You will support the Commissioning Editor in all aspects of the commissioning process to manage a diverse range of programming, assessing content with confident editorial judgment and providing concise and clear notes in the edit, looking after some films independently. You will liaise with marketing and publicity to give Storyville films maximum exposure.

You will be tasked with co-ordinating information systems and data, managing the master slate, tracking documents and liaising with internal BBC departments on Storyville’s behalf.

We will be looking for someone who would also:

  • Maintain strong relationships with stakeholders and co-producing partners  helping to raise co-financing for Storyville productions.
  • Work with Business Affairs ensuring funding from multiple sources is compliant
  • Deal with legal and editorial policy issues as they arise and understand the priorities and responsibilities involved in making challenging and provocative films.
  • Attend festivals and pitching forums in the UK and abroad to monitor new projects, maintain existing relationships and develop new ones, with creatives and potential funders. Spot finished projects for acquisition and publicly represent the BBC and its values.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position will have:

  • A strong understanding of and passion for the domestic and international feature documentary market, knowledge of the most talked about documentaries, a keen interest in Storyville’s output and an appreciation of the audience for Storyville and the BBC
  • Good interpersonal skills and good international contacts – funders, commissioners, filmmakers, broadcasters
  • Sound Editorial judgment and the ability to spot ideas and opportunities and identify distinctive films that will resonate for a UK audience
  • Experience of overseeing feature docs from development, through to shaping films in edits
  • Strong journalistic and storytelling skills and experience of dealing with complex editorial and legal issues on documentary films including understanding rights and compliance
  • An understanding of co-production and coproduction funding and relationships
  • Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to respond and prioritise in fast changing environments. Able to foresee and manage problems that arise and work collaboratively with stakeholders

Package Description

Band: E
Contract type: Permanent - Full Time
Location: London

We’re happy to discuss flexible working. Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application. There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to. Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days (1 of which is a corporation day) with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

The situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak is developing quickly and the BBC is keen to continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people across the BBC, while continuing to protect our services. To reduce the risk access to BBC buildings is limited to those essential to our broadcast output. From Wednesday 18th March until further notice all assessments and interviews will be conducted remotely. For more information go to

Mae’r sefyllfa gyda’r coronafeirws yn datblygu’n gyflym, ac mae’r BBC yn awyddus i barhau i sicrhau diogelwch a lles pobl ar draws y BBC, gan barhau i warchod ein gwasanaethau hefyd. I leihau’r risg, dim ond y bobl sy’n hanfodol i’n hallbwn darlledu fydd yn cael mynediad i adeiladau’r BBC. O ddydd Mercher 18fed Mawrth ymlaen, bydd pob asesiad a chyfweliad yn cael ei gynnal o bell, nes rhoddir gwybod yn wahanol. I gael mwy o wybodaeth, ewch i

About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here


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