Published: 06:00, 18 March 2021
| Updated: 17:13, 19 March 2021
Filming has started on a cutting-edge science series as part of an exciting collaboration between KMTV, the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) and the University of Kent.
‘Generation Genome’ will be an original series of documentaries and studio-based discussions, designed to engage young people in cutting edge science, placing them at the centre of a debate about genetics and the impact it will have on their future.
Filming begins on Generation Genome
The series is aimed at 13 to 18-year-olds and will be broadcast across the UK in 2022. The government funded YACF, which is managed by the BFI supports the creation of distinctive, high-quality content for audiences up to the age of 18.
The project marks the first time a local television news channel has been recognised as a qualifying broadcaster for funding from the YACF, as it is Ofcom regulated, a free-to-access public service platform and the Local Television Network allows significant UK audience reach.
Series producer Andy Richards said: “To say we’re thrilled to be embarking on this project is an understatement.
“We believed in this project from day one and I can’t thank the BFI and The University of Kent enough for green-lighting the series.
"We’re going to be creating vital and relevant content for the age range we’re broadcasting to and it’s our hope and belief that the series will make a real difference in how genomics is consumed and taught to teenagers in the UK.
"Young people from all different backgrounds, race and gender will be able to form their own opinions, on what is a highly controversial but critical topic to their generation.”
The idea for the series was first pitched to KMTV by Prof Darren Griffin, a genetics scholar in the Division of Natural Sciences and Science Communication PhD student Jill Hurst.
Jill, who is also a lead producer on the series said: “Science can and should be thrilling and accessible to all but often scientific developments and concepts, like the field of genomics, are lost in translation.
"As science communicators we wanted to make a series that could inform, engage, entertain and ultimately add to the scientific agency of young people from all backgrounds.
"We are privileged at Kent to have our own television and production house and some of the best researchers and science outreach professional in the world.
"Working together with the British Film Institute means we can produce something very special that can achieve real impact.”
Presenter Ogo Anokwuru, 22, will be embarking on her first on-screen series and alongside Prof Griffin. The production is creating other new opportunities for producers, researchers, craft camera operators and technical staff.
“One of KMTV’s core values is to create opportunities in the creative industries,” said Mr Richards.
“During the pandemic, we’ve all heard terrible stories about what it’s like for colleagues, especially freelancers and those trying to get their first role in the sector. Generation Genome has secured funding that will help pay our brilliant young crew and keep them on track for long and successful careers.
"We’ll also be providing unique experiences to students and others who wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to work on a professional nationwide series.”