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Nick Fraser Honored With BAFTA Special Award


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts honored Nick Fraser's work and engagement for the documentary sector with a special award at the latest Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards.

Nick Fraser, who spearheaded BBC Storyville as a commissioning editor for 17 years, received the BAFTA special award in recognition of his pioneering efforts in bringing a great variety of highly acclaimed documentaries to new audiences across the globe. Since Fraser took charge of the strand in 1999, BBC Storyville won a total of five BAFTAs, four Oscars, 15 Griersons, three Peabodys, and three International Emmys.

Despite recently having suffered from a stroke, Fraser attended the award ceremony in company of his daughter Isabelle, who spoke on behalf of her father.

"Documentaries really matter, they do. You would miss them if they were gone. I've spent my career cheerleading for docs, raising money for them, struggling to get them on the air, nurturing talented producers and directors", said Isabelle Fraser outlining the thoughts of her father. "When I started Storyville at the BBC about twenty years ago, docs were an afterthought: underfunded, neglected, derided for being too arty, too left-wing, too predictable. I wanted to make them into something people love. During that time, we've shown more than 600 films, and I've watched thousands of them. Docs are now the equivalent to Rock'n'Roll and celebrities queue up to be executive producers on films. They realized that films can speak truth to the powerful and people will listen. These films should be championed by broadcasters, putting them on front and center. The audience numbers prove that people really do watch them. We should be more proud of these films. I want to say 'thank you' to the academy for this award, to Louis for the introduction, to the BBC and to my family. And thank you to all the filmmakers I have worked with over the years. We've made some amazing films. Let's continue to make many more." (A video of the ceremony is available on YouTube).

Nick fraser left the BBC as commissioning editor last year (see details here) and took up a new position at Yaddo, a dedicated documentary online streaming platform. Fraser is further involved in activities of the Why Foundation on a regular basis and worked as series editor for Why Democracy? (2007), as executive producer on Why Poverty? (2012) and will be series editor for the upcoming documentary Why Slavery?.

The award ceremony took place on Sunday, 14 May 2017, during the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

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