Published on: 03 November 2015 in Industry

The Grierson Awards 2015: winners announced

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Congratulations to all the winners at last night’s Grierson Awards. Some fantastic programmes and both off- and onscreen talent were honoured across the thirteen awards that were handed out - not least of all director Kim Longinotto, recipient of the prestigious Trustees’ Award.

You may remember that last year there was a great deal of comment about the lack of women winning awards, or at the very least giving acceptance speeches. Just two women (both co-directors on their respective productions) won awards last year: Grace Reynolds for Educating Yorkshire and Norma Percy for The Iraq War: Regime Change. Presenter Sue Perkins mentioned the fact on stage, and a number of directors in attendance later discussed the issue on Twitter.

The Grierson Trust was moved to action, and, together with Directors UK, hosted a session entitled Invisible Women: The Great Documentary Disappearing Act. You can still watch a video or read our live-tweets from that session.

Well, we’re pleased to be able to say that from Kim Longinotto onwards, the number of women appearing onstage and being rewarded for their work has improved this year. Directors Laura Poitras, Rowan DeaconJane Pollard and Kathryn MacCorgarry Gray, not to mention many of those working as part of the extended production teams on programmes like Curing Cancer, Our World War and Gogglebox, all took to the stage throughout the evening to accept awards and give speeches.

And hopefully this is just the start, with wider gains to be made in terms of BAME representation in future. The Trust took the time to highlight their training and mentoring scheme DocLab, and to announce that ITV has agreed a sponsorship deal supporting two new bursaries for 2016. DocLab aims to recruit participants from all across the UK, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, not just culturally, but also socio-economically and geographically. It is hoped that schemes like this will help usher in a truly representative body of winners and nominees in future.



The evening as a whole was a testament to the importance of directors. As they watched The Paedophile HunterDan Reed made the jury feel as if they were “in the hands of a masterful director”. Much was made of the unique way filmmakers are, as Garnet’s Gold director Ed Perkins put it, “allowed into people’s lives”. Reams of contributors from throughout Kim Longinotto’s career appeared onscreen to thank her for telling their stories. As Brenda Myers-Powell, the ebullient star of 2015’s Dreamcatcher, said: “It was an honour to be with a strong sister like you”.

The winners listed below, and all those films that were nominated, are a testament to what Peter Dale referred to in his citation to Kim as, “the moral obligation to tell that story, make that film, and allow as many people as possible to see it”. Congratulations all.

Grierson Awards 2015 Winners

  • Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme: Domestic - The Paedophile Hunter, directed by Dan Reed
  • Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme: International - Citizenfour, directed by Laura Poitras
  • Best Documentary on Current Affairs - Our War: Goodbye Afghanistan, directed by Rowan Deacon
  • Best Arts Documentary - 20,000 Days on Earth, directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
  • Best Historical Documentary - Our World War: The First Day, directed by Bruce Goodison
  • Best Science or Natural History Documentary - Curing Cancer, directed by Brian Woods
  • Best Entertaining Documentary - Gogglebox: series 5, episode 6, by the Production Team
  • Best Documentary Series - The Romanians are Coming, directed by James Bluemel
  • Best Cinema Documentary - Virunga, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
  • Best Newcomer Documentary - The Lost Gold of the Highlands (Garnets Gold), directed by Ed Perkins
  • Best Student Documentary - The Wolf, The Ship and the Little Green Bag, directed by Kathryn MacCorgarry Gray
  • Documentary Presenter of the Year - Grayson Perry for Who Are You?, directed by Neil Crombie
  • Trustees’ Award - Kim Longinotto

Full details of all the winners and nominees are available at the Grierson Trust website.

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