The BBC Grierson Trustees' Award to be presented to Kim Longinotto

Trailblazing documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto is named today as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious BBC Grierson Trustees' Award. The creator of numerous groundbreaking films which focus on and explore the lives of women across the globe, throughout her career she has consistently given voice to those who have no voice living in some of the world's most repressive and hostile societies.

The Griersons are acknowledged as the Oscars of the documentary world. Crowning the crème de la crème, the Trustees' Award recognises outstanding contribution to the art or craft of documentary making. Previous winners include luminaries John Battsek, Kevin Macdonald, Alex Graham, John Pilger, Penny Woolcock, Norma Percy, Paul Watson, Mike Salisbury, Nick Fraser, Jonathan Gili, Molly Dineen and Sir David Attenborough.

Announcing the award, Chairman of the Grierson Trust, Lorraine Heggessey says: "Kim is a filmmaker like no other. In a genre still dominated by men, she holds a unique place in that world. Fearless, she travels around the globe to difficult and dangerous places, often putting herself at risk, to bring important and hidden stories to light. I'm proud that she will be will crowned with our highest honour, The BBC Grierson Trustees' Award."

Kim Longinotto studied camera and directing at the National Film and Television School, where she made PRIDE OF PLACE, a critical look at her boarding school, and THEATRE GIRLS, documenting a hostel for homeless women. Her latest film, DREAMCATCHER focuses on the work of Brenda Myers-Powell, whose Dreamcatcher Foundation is a Chicago-based charity that helps women get out of prostitution. It was released in January 2015 and features on the Grierson 2015 shortlist for Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - International.

Kim has made a number of films in Japan, her first was EAT THE KIMONO, about the controversial feminist performer Hanayagi Genshu; HIDDEN FACES, about Egyptian women followed, and THE GOOD WIFE OF TOKYO which explores women, love and marriage in Japan. She went on to DREAM GIRLS, featuring the spectacular Japanese musical theatre company, the Tararazuka Revue; and SHINJUKU BOYS, about three Tokyo women who live as men. Next up was ROCK WIVES about the wives and girlfriends of rock stars, followed by DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, in a Family Court in Tehran and GAEA GIRLS about a young girl's struggle to become a professional wrestler. RUNAWAY is set in a refuge for runaway girls in Tehran. THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET is about young girls in Kenya challenging the tradition of female circumcision. Then SISTERS IN LAW, set in Kumba, Cameroon, about two female judges. HOLD ME TIGHT, LET ME GO in an Oxford school for disturbed children. ROUGH AUNTIES about a group of brave women based in Durban, South Africa. PINK SARIS, from Northern India followed. Her next film, SALMA, was set in Tamil Nadu, India. Followed by LOVE IS ALL, an archive film about love in 20th and 21st century UK films. Then followed CROSS AND PASSION, about women in the Northern Ireland troubles, set on Turf Lodge, Belfast.

The most prestigious awards in the documentary world and now in their 43rd year, the Grierson Awards celebrate the best in documentary filmmaking carrying prestige and allure for factual filmmakers from across the globe. This year's nominations include some of the most talked about television of the year as well as some less well known gems. A wide spread of broadcasters is represented with films from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Atlantic all represented.

The winners of Grierson 2015: The 43rd British Documentary Awards will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony hosted by choirmaster and broadcaster, Gareth Malone at London's Mermaid Theatre on November 2, 2015.

Published: 13 October 2015

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