The 2019 Grierson awards were announced on Thursday evening, at a ceremony held on London’s Southbank. We’re pleased to report that Directors UK members picked up awards in almost every single category, demonstrating once again the immense amount of talent in the UK Factual community.
In the Best Single Documentary — Domestic category, Directors UK member Toby Trackman took home the award for Stabbed: Britain’s Knife Crime Crisis, which the judges praised for “its authenticity and raw openness.” Meanwhile, in the Best Single Documentary — International category, Directors UK member Henry Singer and co-director Rob Miller picked up the award for Storyville - The Trial of Ratko Mladic, which judges describes as “superbly crafted” and “shocking.” Storyville - Under the Wire, directed by Directors UK member Chris Martin, was also highly commended in this category.
Directors UK member Jane McMullen’s Escape from Dubai: The Mystery of the Missing Princess was highly commended in the Best Current Affairs Documentary category, while The Football Club: Artist in Residence, directed by member Marcus Plowright, won the award for Best Arts or Music Documentary, with judges praising it for being “neither elitist nor distant.”
The Last Survivors, by Directors UK member Arthur Cary, won the award for Best Historical Documentary and was described by the judges as having “an almost sublime quality, subtly capturing the interior lives of its subjects.” Meanwhile, the award for Best Science Documentary went to The Parkinson's Drug Trial: A Miracle Cure?, directed by Jemima Harrison — also a member of Directors UK. “The winning film stood out for its lean storytelling of a complex subject, its scale and its heart,” the judges noted.
Directors UK member Tom Watt-Smith triumphed in the Best Natural History Documentary for Drowning In Plastic, which praised by the judges for combining “astonishing visual material with powerful storytelling to shine a light on one of the most pressing issues in the natural world today.”
“One of the protagonists in the film describes the story as going “from amazing to incredible.” That’s equally true of the film.” So said the judges of Three Identical Strangers, directed by Directors UK member Tim Wardle, and recipient of the Best Entertaining Documentary award. In the same category, Bros: After the Screaming Stops — directed by members David Soutar and Joe Pearlman — was highly commended.
In the Best Documentary Series category, a production team containing members of Directors UK was recognised for Prison, which judges described as “Filmic, powerful, funny, sensitive, revealing.” Leaving Neverland, also by a production team containing members of Directors UK, was highly commended in the same category. Finally, the production team of First Dates Hotel — again featuring members of Directors UK — emerged with the award for Best Constructed Documentary Series.
In other news, Dorothy Byrne was presented with the Grierson Trustees’ Award, and Duwayne Brooks won the award for Best Documentary Presenter, for his work in front of the camera in Stabbed: Britain’s Knife Crime Crisis.
Congratulations to all of the above, and to all of this year’s winners and nominees. You can read a full list of winners here