Having experimented with publishing a stream of documentaries over the past two years, the Guardian has relaunched its online documentaries section this month after learning more about their audience's preferences.
Charlie Phillips, head of documentaries at the Guardian, explained that the relaunch will see one longer film released every month, covering global stories which take viewers on a journey.
“It’s not about making films about issues or portraits of important people, it’s about trying to get people thinking about the contemporary world in a different way and challenging their ideas,” he said.
We want the audience to feel like they’re in a different place from where they started – we want to take them on a journey to somewhere elseCharlie Phillips, the Guardian
“There is a real cross-over between quality news stories and quality documentary storytelling. The advantage of the documentaries is that we can tell stories that are evergreen, that are still going to be relevant in a month, three months or six months.
“These films can keep resurfacing and become a reference point for those people who want a deeper and more contextual understanding of an important subject.”
The first series of twelve 20-minute films, produced in partnership with the Bertha Foundation, aims to get viewers talking about contemporary issues, with the first published piece, Gun Nation, focusing on gun culture in the United States.
“All of the documentaries are commissioned by independent film-makers from around the world,” said Phillips.
“We want the audience to feel like they’re in a different place from where they started – we want to take them on a journey to somewhere else."
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