Blueberry at The Grierson Trust British Documentary Awards 2016

This week we’ve had the pleasure and honour to attend The 44th Grierson Trust British Documentary Awards, the biggest event in the UK documentary calendar. Established in 1972, the awards recognise and celebrate documentaries from Britain and abroad that have made a significant contribution to the genre and that demonstrate quality, integrity, creativity, originality and overall excellence.

Thanks so much to Jane Callaghan, MD of the Grierson Trust, for inviting us to attend the Awards this year – what a treat!

Hosted by impressionist Jon Culshaw, the star-studded awards ceremony took place on Monday night at London’s Mermaid Theatre where the great and the good of the documentary world came together to celebrate another outstanding year of filmmaking.

Stars and personalities from across TV and public life presented awards during the evening including: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Dr Chris van Tulleken, Ant Middleton, Idris Elba, Lucy Cooke, Miriam Margolyes, Stephen Mangan, Mark Dolan, Tyger Drew-Honey, Sophie Morgan and Nina Nannar.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust said: “These winning films demonstrate the vibrant and innovative ways in which the UK documentary industry is the world leader and they give such optimism for the future of the genre. From the provocative to the heart-warming, the funny to the simply astonishing, our award winners deserve the accolade and recognition a Grierson bestows upon them. Huge congratulations to them all.”

During the evening the Awards also took time to celebrate the Grierson Trust’s unique training and mentoring scheme DocLab, now in partnership with Bertha DocHouse. DocLab participants are recruited from across the UK, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, not just culturally, but also socio-economically and geographically. Through this initiative the Trust has given opportunities to 48 young people to explore documentary making, offering them access to leading filmmakers, production companies and commissioning editors at Sheffield Doc/Fest. The scheme also matched them with industry mentors and sourced paid work placements with production companies and broadcasters, proving an invaluable first taste of the profession.

Back in May Blueberry began an inspiring collaboration with the Grierson Trust for this year’s edition of their Doc Lab: Irantzu hosted a workshop covering CVs, presentations and all things “find-a-job” and she still continues to mentor trainees with one-on-one consultations.

It was a great privilege to enjoy front row seats, alongside some of the DocLab trainees. The event was so inspiring and we came away fired up for the year to come and excited for the interesting companies and projects we hope to book our editors on in the future. Our heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and winners who dedicate themselves to crafting and sharing some of the most important stories with the world.

View the full list of winners