David Attenborough and Rupert Everett battle it out with Stephen Fry and Stacey Dooley on the Best Presenter shortlist for the 42nd Annual British Documentary Awards in association with Shell and Sky Atlantic

London: Tuesday 29th July 2014: The official build up to the 42nd annual Griersons begins as The Grierson Trust announces the shortlist for the 2014 British Documentary Awards in association with Shell and Sky Atlantic.

Read the full shortlist

The shortlisting jury panels met to debate, champion and whittle down the entries to just eight films in each of the 12 categories (listed in full below). They are now put forward to the next round of judging in September when Trustees, filmmakers, genre specialists and industry experts will convene to choose their winners. These ultimate winners will be announced at a star-studded awards ceremony on Monday 3rd November.

The BBC and Channel 4 are almost neck and neck with 33 and 29 films shortlisted respectively. Sky, ITV, S4C and Al Jazeera are all represented on the shortlist.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chairman of the Grierson Trust says: "I'm delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2014 Griersons. We have an amazingly strong year with each category jammed with a variety of powerful, impactful and memorable films.

"The shortlist contains some of the most talked about television of 2013/14, flanked by some little known gems and the early blossoming of young student directors alongside the latest tours de force from some previous Grierson-winning alumni including Jill Nicholls, Alex Gibney and Ben Anthony. Some of the year's biggest hitters are included with Educating Yorkshire, Gogglebox and The Call Centre all featuring and David Attenborough and Rupert Everett fight it out for Best Presenter alongside the likes of Stephen Fry and Stacey Dooley – surprisingly the only female presenter put forward in this category.

"Regarded as the Oscars of documentary making, winning a Grierson is a coveted honour for filmmakers from across the globe. Judged by their peers, the Griersons champion and recognise filmmakers' dedication, style and wit - the hallmarks of brilliant documentary making. Our judges now face a summer of deliberation and debate and I look forward to announcing the final nominations in the autumn."

Five films have the honour of being shortlisted in multiple categories. Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin's Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer goes head to head with Lucy Walker's The Crash Reel in both the Best Documentary on A Contemporary Theme – International and Best Cinema categories. Tim Van Someren's Our Gay Wedding makes the cut in Best Arts and also Best Entertaining categories where it will battle it out with James Bluemel and Holly Challinor's Skint which appears in the Series category as well.

While The Joy of Logic sees Catherine Gale recognised in both Best Science or Natural History and Best Newcomer shortlists.

New for 2014, Shell has upgraded its long-standing relationship with The Grierson Trust to become headline sponsors alongside broadcast partners Sky Atlantic. This year, Shell is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its Film & Photography Unit, founded by John Grierson in 1934. Commonly known as the father of documentary, John Grierson set about establishing a film team that would create productions for the industry and public alike, embodying his strong social commitment.

Erik Bonino, Chairman of Shell UK, says: "I can think of no better way to commemorate 80 years of glorious film-making by the Shell Film & Photography Unit than our headline sponsorship of the British Documentary Awards. We are proud to support young filmmakers, and it is fitting that we should build and enhance our partnership with The Grierson Trust in honour of our founder, John Grierson."

Final nominations will be announced on 16th September prior to the awards ceremony at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London on 3rd November. The full awards ceremony will also be screened on Sky Atlantic in early November.

Celia Taylor, Sky's Head of Non Scripted says: "Bringing UK audiences iconic documentaries and epic storytelling are at the heart of what we do at Sky Atlantic. So I'm thrilled that we will be screening the 42nd British Documentary Awards as we celebrate together the crème de la crème of the world's documentary making."

The Grierson Trust is grateful to and generously supported by Sky Atlantic, Shell International, The Open University, ITN Source, Envy, Bertha DocHouse, the British Council, Nyman Libson Paul, Satusfaction, Evolutions and CTVC.

Read the full shortlist

Published: 29 July 2014

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