Documentaries Sustain Our Culture

As a documentary filmmaker I read with great interest a recent  article in The Guardian newspaper written by the series editor of BBC Four’s Storyville, one of the premier showcases for documentary films on television. In “Why documentaries matter,” Nick Fraser maintains that “documentaries are among the most valuable, neglected cultural forms of our time.”

Nick Fraser of the BBC's Storyville (photo by Frank Boyd)

With the squeeze on television budgets Fraser worries about how small documentaries – “low budget, clever, appealing to small, passionate audiences” — will be adequately funded in the future. “I’d like to know how their independent spirit can be conserved and nurtured,” he says.

If we didn’t have these “manifestations of contemporary culture,”  Fraser predicts  that we would miss them very much.

In  my humble view, the best way to support documentary films is for audiences to actively seek them out at their local theater or watch them on television, DVD or video-on-demand.


  1. The article in the Guardian by NICK FRASER is so true and so important
    in regards to how documentary films imform and educate audiences throughout the world. BBC4 STORYVILLE by far provides us with the most informative, entertaining and enlightening programmes. It’s unfortunate that it comes on so late when most people are asleep…I stay up extremely late just to catch whatever programme is on, because for me there is nothing on the other channels to watch except the NEWS….
    I also want to thank BBC4 for celebrating Jamaican Music over the years
    by giving us that platform of recognition for our contribution to popular Culture.

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