Fremantle hires Storyville’s Mandy Chang as global docs boss

Mandy Chang

Fremantle has hired Mandy Chang, head of the BBC’s famed factual strand Storyville, as its global head of documentaries.

Chang joined the BBC from Australia’s ABC in 2017 following the exit of Storyville’s former chief Nick Fraser, who launched SVOD Yaddo (now owned by Lightning International), and Netflix-bound Kate Townsend.

She has been behind docs including Collective and One Child Nation at Storyvillebut from August will lead the newly minted factual division at Fremantle, reporting into group COO Andrea Scrosati.

Fremantle’s doc drive

The appointment comes amid a frenetic factual push for Fremantle, which has recently revealed a raft of docs from its global teams including Naked’s Planet Sex for Hulu in the US and the UK’s BBC Three.

The company is also working with Richard Brown’s Passenger on a show about the Basketball Africa League with South African director Tebogo Malope, and its Italian division is producing Veleno: The Town of Lost Children with Amazon Prime Video.

In Germany, Fremantle last month unveiled a new German documentary arm for its production house UFA, which is behind docuseries Expedition Arktis. An international version of the show is also in the works, joining water scarcity doc Day Zero and Samuel L. Jackson-fronted series Enslaved.

Scaling up

Scrosati said Chang’s arrival would “be key to Fremantle’s very ambitious plans to scale-up our global factual capabilities.”

Andrea Scrosati

He added: “Whilst we are already producing and distributing a growing slate of documentaries, we want to invest to do more and we are excited to work with Mandy who will help us design and execute this ambitious plan.”

Chang added: “Leading BBC Storyville and international acquisitions to bring hundreds of hours of the best international documentaries and factual programming to the BBC’s platforms has been deeply fulfilling and a privilege.

“I am now really looking forward to a new challenge, working with Andrea and taking up this ambitious new role at Fremantle. This is a unique opportunity to create a division of world-class documentary films and series from around the globe, that unites all the experience and knowledge gained throughout my career.”

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said: “The sheer range and creative ambition of the titles commissioned over the last few years demonstrates her passion for great storytelling. I am sorry to see her go but we wish her the very best for her new venture.”

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