Channel 5 Lines Up Immigration Doc


LONDON/PARIS: Pernel Media has been commissioned by Channel 5 to produce a documentary format that explores the impact of immigration law on family life.

The documentary, tentatively titled Immigration: Tearing My Family Apart, is the first U.K. broadcast commission for Pernel Media, and Channel 5’s first from a French indie. The hour-long program documents the forced separations of four families divided by changes in U.K. immigration rulings. It looks at the emotional toll on the families as they struggle to reunite while complying with the new laws.

More than 15,000 British children have been separated from one of their parents due to current immigration laws. Immigration: Tearing My Family Apart looks at families split between the U.K. and Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines and South Africa.

Emma Westcott, commissioning editor at Channel 5, said, “It seems that immigration is rarely out of the news, yet this is the rarely seen, other side of that story, following stories of people falling foul of red tape and rules when they have fallen in love overseas. Immigration is commonly thought of as a broad social issue, but this examines the sensitive emotional and personal faces of it.”

Samuel Kissous, the president of Pernel Media and executive producer on the title, added, “We are delighted to be producing this documentary for Channel 5. Producing for a U.K. broadcaster is a natural progression for us in our journey to become a truly international content production business. Immigration is a big issue all around the world right now and not just in the U.K. as we believe the format for the show can work in any country where migration is a major social issue.”