Janine Thomas, has been appointed as Commissioning Editor and will directly report to Head of Documentaries Alisa Pomeroy. She will support Rita Daniels by taking on the day-to-day running of the career defining strand First Cut, freeing up Daniels to focus on new blue-chip documentary series. Janine’s other responsibilities will include working with on and off screen talent.
She joins from Sky UK where she delivered a string of shows across the pay-TV broadcaster’s Documentaries, Crime and Nature channels. Highlights included Arrow Pictures’ Grierson and Edinburgh nominated Positive: 30 Years Of HIV In Britain, Minnow’s Mother Teresa, Top Hat’s Broadcast Digital Award-nominated Look Away, Lion TV’s Arctic From Above With Liz Bonnin and Blast!’s Italia ’90 series.
Janine has also made her mark by nurturing off-screen talent with her launch of the Doc Shorts Initiative. The scheme offered emerging film-makers with disabilities and those from ethnic minority backgrounds access to a £500,000 fund to direct cinematic short films. Previously at Channel 4, Janine was Documentaries Assistant Editor and worked across a diverse slate including, Damilola: The Boy Next Door, Secret Life of the Zoo and 24 Hours in A&E. Additionally she commissioned into the digital Factual strand True Stories and E4. She also championed Black History Month programming, such as Gal-dem presents; Black British History, comedian Mo Gilligan’s Black British & Funny and the film series Take Your Knee off my Neck, a response to the killing of George Floyd.
Janine Thomas, Commissioning Editor said: “I am thrilled to be joining the award-winning Documentaries team. Without doubt this is an exciting opportunity to continue the storytelling legacy of First Cut. I will look forward to working with Rita Daniels on this strand and aim to develop distinctive and uniquely Channel 4 programmes with new on and off-screen talent.”
Alisa Pomeroy, Head of Documentaries added: “Janine is a rising star and I’m delighted that she will be joining the Documentaries team and working across one of our most cherished strands. She has a great reputation for working with new talent on and off screen which I am sure will lead to First Cut delivering some incredible programming from the next generation of directors.”
For First Cut Rita Daniels has been responsible for mentoring and nurturing the next generation of story tellers. Since 2016 she has placed a host of emerging filmmakers on the stage at Sheffield’s Doc Fest First Cut live pitches. Those she has worked with include: Ashley Francis-Roy First Cut winner for 2019 has received a Edinburgh New Voices Award, an RTS award and a Bafta nomination for his First Film – The Real EastEnders. He then went on to direct the multi-award winning Damilola, the Boy Next Door and is currently working on The Real Line of Duty with Story Films (wt). Ashley was also Bafta Breakthrough winner for 2021. Others include Lyttanya Shannon who after making her high rating First Cut, Sun, Sea and Surgery went on to direct on Hospital and then Ambulance and recently made Subnormal with Steve McQueen as exec producer and The Black Maternity Scandal for C4. She was also the Bafta Breakthrough winner for 2021 . Also in the mix, Chloe Fairweather. First Cut Film I Do At 92 who most recently made the Oscar nominated feature doc ‘Dying to Divorce’.