The 2017 Grierson Awards were announced last night, at a ceremony at The Mermaid in London. The event celebrated the on and off-screen successes of an array of factual talent, and we at Directors UK are proud to count numerous members among the winners and nominees.
One of the perennial highlights of the Griersons ceremony is the presentation of the Grierson Trustees award, and we are pleased to say that this year its recipient was our member Alastair Fothergill. In presenting the award Lorraine Heggessey explained that Forthergill (who is well known for directing Deep Blue and Earth, as well as series-producing The Blue Planet and Planet Earth) is “one of the most talented people in our industry, a pioneer whose ambition makes him soar to ever greater heights…few individuals have had such an impact on the wildlife film-making industry on the small and big screen.”
Fothergill was one of many members to be celebrated for their work throughout the course of the evening. James Bluemel, Jack MacInnes, Paul Glynn and Robin Barwell won the award for Best Documentary Series with Exodus: Our Journey to Europe – which was described by Jury Chair Liesel Evans as a “bold and timeless series offering perspective that was unprecedented in rawness and humanity.”
The award for Best Single Documentary – Domestic was taken home by Hillsborough, directed by Directors UK member Daniel Gordon. The film was described as “an outstanding film that blended a forensic eye for detail with moving personal testimony and the creative use of archive and reconstruction” by Jury Chair Jago Lee. Meanwhile, in the Best Single Documentary – International category, member Dan Edge (alongside Lauren Muccioli) was highly commended for Last Days of Solitary, a production described as “harrowing, unflinching and shocking.”
In the Best Science Documentary category, member Stephen Cooter was recognised for Forces of Nature with Brian Cox: Somewhere in Spacetime. Jury Chair Fergus O’Brien praised how the episode “communicated big, complex ideas in an imaginative and captivating way.” A Directors UK member also took home the award Best Arts Documentary: step forward Nick Willing, and the victorious, “wonderfully intimate and human” Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories.
Muslims Like Us was the recipient of the Best Constructed Documentary Series award, and the production team – which contains multiple Directors UK members – was celebrated for its work in creating a “Timely, layered, insightful, bold and provocative” programme. Meanwhile, Christine Garabedian’s work on Goodbye Aleppo earned the Best Current Affairs Documentary Award. Jury Chair Andy Whittaker described the production as “compelling” and “deeply moving.”
Member Pip Broughton was highly commended in the Best Historical Documentary category for Aberfan: The Green Hollow, a production described by the jury as “truly innovative” and “effecting”. Finally, the award for Best Entertaining Documentary went to the “gripping, honest and brave” 999: What's Your Emergency? - Nobody ever said, “When I grow up I want to answer 999 calls”, directed by members James Incledon, Sam Barnes and Chris Rowe.
We would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners, a full list of which can be found below. As is evident from the words of the jurors above, these productions are testament to the significance and power of great factual programming.
Grierson Awards 2017 winners
- Best Entertaining Documentary: 999: What’s Your Emergency? - Nobody ever said, “When I grow up I want to answer 999 calls” — James Incledon, Sam Barnes and Chris Rowe.
- Best Historical Documentary: 13th — Ava DuVernay (Highly commended: Aberfan: The Green Hollow - Pip Broughton)
- Best Current Affairs Documentary: Goodbye Aleppo — Christine Garabedian
- Best Documentary Short: Fish Story — Charlie Lyne
- Best Student Documentary: Acta Non Verba — Yvann Yagchi
- Best Constructed Documentary Series: Muslims Like Us — Production Team
- Best Natural History Documentary: Wild Ireland: The Edge of the World - Episode 1 — John Murray, Cepa Giblin
- Best Single Documentary - International: Machines — Rahul Jain (Highly commended: Last Days of Solitary — Dan Edge, Lauren Mucciolo)
- Best Arts Documentary: Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories — Nick Willing
- Best Cinema Documentary: Weiner — Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
- Best Science Documentary: Forces of Nature with Brian Cox: Episode 2, Somewhere in Spacetime — Stephen Cooter
- Best Documentary Presenter: Grayson Perry: All Man — Grayson Perry
- Best Single Documentary - Domestic: Hillsborough — Daniel Gordon
- Best Documentary Series: Exodus: Our Journey to Europe — James Bluemel, Jack MacInness, Paul Glynn and Robin Barnwell
- Grierson Trustees' Award — Alastair Fothergill