Alex West.

Screen Australia has appointed Alex West as head of documentary, following the departure of Bernadine Lim earlier this year.

West brings over 25 years of screen experience to the role, having worked as a documentary producer, filmmaker, writer, and director, as well as in screen agency investment program management.

He has previously directed projects in partnership with the BBC, ABC, Seven Network, SBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Channel 4.

He will oversee the documentary unit at Screen Australia from July 5, reporting to head of content, Sally Caplan.

West said he was “particularly honoured and excited” to be joining the Screen Australia’s documentary team in the current climate.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

After beginning his career as a producer at the BBC in the UK, West joined production company Wall to Wall Media as an executive producer, developing and producing a range of specialist factual, science, history TV series and specials, including TV family history series Who Do You Think You Are?.

He also spent several years as an investment manager at Screen Australia predecessor Film 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.

Caplan said West’s extensive international experience made him stand out for the role.

“Alex brings a wealth of experience across multiple roles in both documentary production and commissioning management,” she said.

“Alex’s dedication to the power of documentary filmmaking in exploring issues pertinent to society today and championing documentary storytelling will make him a great asset to Screen Australia.”

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