Screen Australia appoints new head of documentary

Respected producer Alex West to oversee the Documentary Unit at Screen Australia.

Screen Australia has appointed producer Alex West as Head of Documentary, replacing Bernadine Lim, who joined SBS in March.

West has over 25 years of experience, both domestically and internationally, with credits including Who Do You Think You Are?, The Serengeti Rules and Drain the Oceans as well as experience in screen agency investment program management.

Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s Head of Content said, “Alex brings a wealth of experience across multiple roles in both documentary production and commissioning management. His extensive international experience made him stand out for the role of Head of Documentary, amongst some other outstanding candidates. Alex’s dedication to the power of documentary filmmaking in exploring issues pertinent to society today and championing of documentary storytelling will make him a great asset to Screen Australia.”

Alex West added, “More than ever documentaries and factual programs play a crucial role revealing important truths and knowledge about our lives, society, and culture past, present, and future. This is why I am particularly honoured and excited to be joining the Screen Australia documentary team at this time. I am looking forward to getting started working with filmmakers and producers all across Australia to bring the best real life stories to the widest possible range of screens.”

He begins Monday 5th July 2021 reporting to Head of Content, Sally Caplan.

Across his career, Alex has held roles in producing, developing, funding, writing, directing and delivering over 60 documentary films and TV series. Projects he has directed have been in partnership with some of the world’s leading broadcasters including BBC, ABC, Seven, SBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Channel 4.

Alex began his career as a producer at the BBC in the UK before joining leading production company Wall to Wall Media as an Executive Producer. At Wall to Wall Media, he developed and produced a range of specialist factual, science, history TV series and specials including the internationally acclaimed TV family history series ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, which has been syndicated locally to Australia, with broadcaster SBS commissioning 12 seasons to date. Alex spent several years as an investment manager at Film Australia (a predecessor to Screen Australia) and has held senior production roles at Artemis Films, Electric Pictures, CJZ, Essential Media and Renegade Films. In 2020, he was co-awarded the Emmy Award for Best Nature Documentary for The Serengeti Rules. Alex’s most recent credits include the latest season of National Geographic’s Drain the Oceans.

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