Jane RAY Jane RAY

Artistic Director
The Whickers | UK

Jane Ray set up the The Whickers in 2015 after 29 years in factual programme making and senior management at the BBC. During the 1990s she was Alan Whicker's radio producer but had no idea that the pioneering broadcaster was planning her next move through his extraordinary bequest. Jane is an multi award-winning documentary director and investigative journalist in her own right. She is in demand as speaker and trainer at University College London, the British Film Institute, The National Film and Television School and New York University. Her company, Cat Flap Media, has several projects in development. As well as Docedge she has worked as a panelist, mentor and decision maker for Close Up, EIDF, Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, CNEX, Crossing Borders, the BCPF in South Korea, Double Exposure (the Festival of Investigative Documentary Journalism) and the inaugural Dhaka Doc Lab. She has had a passion for Kolkata since staying at the Fairlawn Hotel on honeymoon, A monkey stole her sun-glasses, but despite several return visits they have never been returned.

Institute/ Organization Profile
The Whickers was launched in 2015 to support emerging talent in international documentary. It is financed through the generous legacy of UK broadcast journalist Alan Whicker. It is now overseen by his partner Valerie Kleeman furthering Alan’s vision to nurture and support new documentary talent from around the world to take the first step up a ladder which is increasingly difficult to climb. The Whickers seek to support original, access driven stories that take the audience into a new or hitherto unseen world. The criteria also include ‘Being passionate, but not partisan’. Wit, flair and curiosity are always welcome. The Foundation has partnerships with Sheffield Doc/Fest, Durban Film Mart, The BFI and of course Docedge Kolkata. Three years ago they instigated the Whicker Docedge Bursary for newly emerging talent from India and South East Asia. The inaugural award of £3,000 GBP was won by Vivek Chaudhary for “I Poppy" and subsequently by the award winning "Children of The Mist" by Diem Ha Le and then "Outsider" by Kanishka Sonthalia and Siddesh Shetty. The main award of £100 GBP is award at Sheffield Doc/Fest in June. Past winners have been picked up by Netflix, Billi Billi, HBO, the BFI and the BBC. One winner, "Hope Frozen", won the International Documentary Emmy in 2021.