ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF GRIERSON 2016: The 44th British Documentary Awards

London, 7th November 2016, 9pm: The Grierson Trust takes great pleasure in announcing the winners of Grierson 2016: The 44th British Documentary Awards. Hosted by impressionist Jon Culshaw, the star-studded awards ceremony took place tonight at London’s Mermaid Theatre where the great and the good of the documentary world came together to celebrate another outstanding year of filmmaking.

Winners: How To Change the World Winners of Canadian High Commission Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - International: How To Change the World

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust said: "These winning films demonstrate the vibrant and innovative ways in which the UK documentary industry is the world leader and they give such optimism for the future of the genre. From the provocative to the heart-warming, the funny to the simply astonishing, our award winners deserve the accolade and recognition a Grierson bestows upon them. Huge congratulations to them all."

Stars and personalities from across TV and public life presented awards during the evening including: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Dr Chris van Tulleken, Ant Middleton, Idris Elba, Lucy Cooke, Miriam Margolyes, Stephen Mangan, Mark Dolan, Tyger Drew-Honey, Sophie Morgan and Nina Nannar.

Winners: The Real Marigold Hotel Winners of Evolutions Best Constructed Documentary Series: The Real Marigold Hotel

And the winners are:

  • Televisual Best Natural History Documentary: The Hunt: The Hardest Challenge

    Director: Huw Cordey for Silverback Films, BBC, BBC Worldwide, BBC America, The Open University, CCTV9, NDR Naturfilm; first shown: BBC One

    Jury Chair, Liz Brion commented: "The Hunt has superb, jaw-dropping photography combined with compelling storytelling and a precise narrative structure which ranged in tone and pace. It kept us captivated from the opening sequence."

  • Dogwoof Best Arts Documentary: Amy

    Director: Asif Kapadia for On The Corner; first shown: General theatrical release

    Jury Chair, James Quinn said: "Amy is a film that lives and breathes in a way that is relentlessly and powerfully emotional."

  • Channel 4 Best Newcomer Documentary: Where You're Meant To Be

    Director: Paul Fegan for Better Days; first shown: Glasgow Film Festival

    Chris Durlacher, Jury Chair said: "This a rare example of a filmed journey that really was a journey, both physically and emotionally, as it explores the difficult issue of how the present day deals with the past."

  • May Fair Hotel Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - Domestic: How To Die: Simon's Choice

    Director: Rowan Deacon for Minnow Films, The Open University; first shown: BBC Two

    Jury Chair, Lorraine Heggessey said: "This winner stood out as a film that has incredible access to its contributors and really tugged at the heart strings making a valuable contribution to the debates surrounding these big issues. It was clear that there was a relationship of trust between the filmmaker and Simon, his family and friends resulting in a deeply moving and terrific film."

  • ITN Source Best Historical Documentary: Attacking the Devil

    Directors: Jacqui Morris and David Morris for Frith Street Films Ltd; first shown: General theatrical release

    Jury Chair, Tom McDonald commented: "This is a beautifully crafted film, full of passion, fire and insight. And a timely reminder of the necessary pursuit of truth."

  • Canadian High Commission Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - International: How To Change the World

    Director: Jerry Rothwell for Met Film Production, Insight Productions Ltd, Daniel Films; first shown: Sundance Film Festival 2015, London

    Jury Chair, Alex Cooke said: "The winner stood apart as an extraordinary film which tells a big story. It blends the brilliant use of unseen archive footage and skilful storytelling whilst capturing the spirit of idealism and friendship."

  • Nyman Lisbon Paul Best Entertaining Documentary: Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds

    Directors: Teresa Watkins, Emily Lawson and Nicola Brown for RDF Media; first shown: Channel 4

    Amy Flanagan, Jury Chair said: "We were unanimous in our decision about the winner - which was perfectly pitched in being informative, educational and hugely entertaining. It was positive, celebratory and had a broad appeal."

  • Sky Atlantic Best Student Documentary: Women In Sink

    Director: Iris Zaki for Royal Holloway, University of London; first shown: UK Jewish Film Festival

    Emma Hindley, Jury Chair said: "The jury were impressed with this hopeful portrait in a complex reality, offering great insight into a heated and controversial international issue. The filmmaker had clearly thought about their practice and craft as a documentary maker in an innovative and unusual way."

  • Warner Bros TV Production UK Best Documentary Presenter: Paul Mayhew Archer for Parkinson's: The Funny Side

    BBC South; first shown: BBC One

    Liesel Evans, Jury Chair: "What sets our winner apart is his use of humour in tackling a complicated subject in a way that felt genuine and persuasive whilst being completely charming and insightful."

  • Open University Best Current Affairs Documentary: The World - Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola

    Director: Dan Edge for Mongoose Pictures and Quicksilver Media; first shown: BBC Two

    Christopher Hird and Clare Handford, Jury Chairs said: "The winning film told an important story powerfully with outstanding investigative journalism, compelling scenes and revelatory insights, which combined to produce an exceptional and thought-provoking piece of filmmaking."

  • Clockwork Capital Best Science Documentary: Oak Tree: Nature's Greatest Survivor

    Director: Nic Stacey for Furnace TV; first shown: BBC Four

    Jury Chair, Sanjay Singhal commented: "This is a delightful watch, full of surprises, beautifully crafted, technically immaculate and packed with information. It made you fall in love with the subject, finding yourself asking all the way through: who knew? A lovely film."

  • Bertha DocHouse Best Cinema Documentary: Cartel Land

    Director: Matthew Heineman; first shown: General theatrical release

    Morgan Matthews, Jury Chair said: "Terrifying, compelling and epic. Cartel Land is a film with a twisting and twisted narrative, capturing shocking and extraordinary scenes, whilst painting a layered and complex portrait of dangerous characters in a seemingly lawless world."

  • Evolutions Best Constructed Documentary Series: The Real Marigold Hotel

    Director: Tom Currie for Twofour; first shown: BBC Two

    David Dehaney, Jury Chair said: "Beautifully observed and exceptionally executed this winner stood apart as charming and heart-warming. And funny."

  • Envy Best Documentary Series: The Murder Detectives

    Director: Dave Nath for Films of Record; first shown: Channel 4

    Andy Whittaker, Jury Chair said: The judges had an interesting and lively debate about the four final films. It was a closely fought argument before they settled on an eventual winner. The jury felt that the overall standard this year has really raised the bar which was already set high. This is great news for the documentary community as it pulls everything and everyone up. In particular, the excellence of the access gained to communities and contributors is moving forwards incredibly."

  • BBC Grierson Trustees' Award: Louis Theroux

    Presented by BBC Director of Content, Charlotte Moore, saying: "There is nobody else quite like Louis Theroux. Over the past 20 years, he has established himself as one of the most distinctive voices in filmmaking, winning critical acclaim, legions of international super-fans and a rake of awards. But Louis has never been one to rest on his laurels. He may have cut his teeth on the bizarre and the extreme, hanging out with porn stars, survivalists, revivalists, swingers and celebrities, but by the time everyone else started latching on to the power of celebrity, Louis had already graduated to more serious territory, turning his attention to some of the most complex issues we face in the modern world – addiction, paedophilia, rehabilitation, justice and collective guilt. He ploughs his own furrow, and never stands still. I believe that's why his voice remains as unique and thought-provoking today as it was fresh and funny two decades ago."

During the evening the Awards also took time to celebrate The Grierson Trust's unique training and mentoring scheme DocLab, now in partnership with Bertha DocHouse. DocLab participants are recruited from across the UK, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, not just culturally, but also socio-economically and geographically. Through this initiative the Trust has given opportunities to 48 young people to explore documentary making, offering them access to leading filmmakers, production companies and commissioning editors at Sheffield Doc/Fest. The scheme also matched them with industry mentors and sourced paid work placements with production companies and broadcasters, proving an invaluable first taste of the profession.

Full List of Winners

Published: 7 November 2016

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