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SBS and NITV announce new Commissioning Editor appointments

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SBS and National Indigenous Television (NITV) have announced the appointment of two commissioning editors, with Bernadine Lim joining SBS as Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, and Marissa McDowell joining NITV as Commissioning Editor.

Bernadine Lim (image – Screen Australia)

As a member of SBS’s Unscripted team, Lim will work across SBS’s slate of distinctive commissioned documentaries, championing diverse stories and exploring issues impacting contemporary Australia.

McDowell will join NITV’s commissioning team, working on the development and delivery of a diverse slate of commissioned programming for the channel, including documentaries, entertainment and children’s programs reflecting, exploring and celebrating First Nations stories.

Lim is an award-winning director and producer with more than 20 years’ experience, and joins SBS from Screen Australia where she has been Head of Documentary since 2018. Born in Malaysia, she began her career as a TV journalist in New Zealand and has worked across a range of factual formats, from current affairs, entertainment, arts, science and documentary, in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. Her appointment sees her return to SBS having previously been the Executive Producer of Dateline, SBS’s long-running international current affairs program.

Joseph Maxwell, Head of Documentaries, SBS, said: 

“We’re thrilled to be welcoming Bernadine back to SBS, and bringing her extensive industry knowledge, working across a range of formats, to the documentaries team. Her experience reflects her talent and passion for storytelling, and we’re looking forward to having her join us as SBS continues to deliver a strong and diverse slate of commissioned documentaries in 2021, and has an exciting mix of projects in development.”

On her appointment, Lim said: 

“It’s been an amazing time at Screen Australia with a talented team of dedicated people. I’m very excited to make my next move into the creative heart of SBS’s strong factual content team. As a passionate storyteller, it’s a privilege to have this type of role across such compelling content and help celebrate multicultural Australia.” 

Marissa McDowell (image – Overland)

McDowell, from the Wiradjuri Nation and currently living in Canberra, has worked with Indigenous communities to tell their stories through documentary film making, photography and writing, throughout her career. A multimedia producer and filmmaker with her production company, Black & White Films.

On McDowell’s appointment as Commissioning Editor for NITV, Kyas Hepworth, Head of Commissioning and Programming, NITV, said: 

“Marissa’s passion and craft for storytelling is matched by her dedication and commitment to supporting the ongoing development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent in the screen sector. Her creativity, expertise and strong industry networks will be a great asset to the NITV team, and we can’t wait to have her on board at a busy time with a number of exciting projects in the pipeline for the channel.”

McDowell added: 

“Our people have so many stories which are universal that need to be told. I am excited to be joining NITV, a channel dedicated to telling the stories of the world’s oldest continuing culture, and be able to play a part in bringing these stories to the world.”

McDowell has produced content for various platforms including NITV, and also facilitates filmmaking workshops for youth and community. In 2016, she was selected as part of Screen Forever’s Ones to Watch development and mentoring program, is a member of First Nations Writer group, Us Mob Writers, and is also a published poet and exhibited photographer.

Bernadine Lim will commence in the role in the SBS documentaries team on 3 May, and Marissa McDowell will join NITV from 24 March.

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