Now Open! The Grierson Trust announces the 2017 British Documentary Award categories

Entries are now invited for the 2017 Grierson British Documentary Awards. Brand new for this year is a Best Documentary Shorts category recognising the very best of the year’s short factual films with a running time of 20 minutes or less.

The prestigious annual Grierson awards feature 14 categories in total. The closing date for entries is 31 May 2017.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chairman of the Grierson Trust says, “The Grierson Awards attract the crème de la crème of the industry and remain the most coveted prize for documentary filmmakers. Celebrating excellence in every genre, the Trust continually strives to reflect our ever changing, dynamic industry.

“The proliferation of digital platforms and non-linear broadcasting has brought work from new entrants who represent a growing number of the documentaries entered for the awards. So this year we wanted to give short films the recognition they deserve. This new category, sponsored by Yaddo, is also intended to capture those just starting out in their careers who might previously have entered the Best Newcomer category.

“We are also pleased to welcome Silverglade, Splice and Yaddo and ITV as a category sponsor for the first time. We are, of course, as excited as ever to see which films from the last year will make it on to the Grierson shortlist!”

2017 Categories

[All entries must have had their first UK screening during the qualifying period of 1 May 2016 – 31 May 2017.]

  • Splice Best Single Documentary - Domestic

    A single documentary which deals primarily with UK-based subjects on contemporary themes: e.g. society, business, health, religion, welfare etc. Includes biographical or first-person stories.

    * Single episodes from series will not be eligible but episodes from strands are acceptable.

  • Channel 4 Best Single Documentary - International

    A single documentary which deals primarily with international subjects on contemporary themes: e.g. society, business, health, religion, welfare etc. Includes biographical or first-person stories.

    * Single episodes from series will not be eligible but episodes from strands are acceptable.

  • The Open University Best Current Affairs Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which focuses on specific news or current affairs events. Entries may cover domestic or international subjects. Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding investigative journalism, access and insights.

  • Silverglade Best Arts Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, on an arts subject.

  • Best Historical Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, on an historical subject.

  • Best Science Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which addresses any aspect of science or medicine.

  • Best Natural History Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which addresses any aspect of natural history.

  • Nyman Libson Paul Best Entertaining Documentary

    A single documentary or an episode from a strand or series that sets out primarily to entertain. Judges will be looking for humour, wit and elegance of style. Entries can be on any subject and in any format, including factual and reality based programmes.

  • Evolutions Best Constructed Documentary Series

    An unscripted series, of two or more episodes, that examines the actions or behaviour of individuals within a created format or constructed environment.

    * Entrants must provide a minimum of two episodes from the series for judging.

  • Envy Best Documentary Series

    A finite series of two or more episodes and with a single overall theme, planned by an individual or a team.

    * Entrants must provide a minimum of two episodes from the series for judging.

  • Bertha DocHouse Best Cinema Documentary

    A documentary that has had a UK theatrical release within the qualifying period. For the purposes of the awards a theatrical release is a screening in a UK cinema, open to the general public, for a period of at least seven days. The screenings can be in different cinemas and do not have to be on consecutive days.

  • ITV Best Student Documentary

    Awarded to a student director for a film made during a UK-based, full-time academic course.

    * All entries must be supported by a description of the course and institution and the contact details of the course tutor.

  • Yaddo Best Documentary Short ** NEW CATEGORY **

    Awarded to a single documentary with a running time of 25 minutes or less.

  • Warner Bros TV Production UK Best Documentary Presenter

    This award goes to the presenter or presenting team who has made the most outstanding contribution to documentary programming within the qualifying period. Whether in arts, music, religion, history, science, natural history or contemporary theme, the jury is looking for presenters who engage the audience and bring originality of thought, insight, perspective and content to a subject.

    * Entrants should provide a complete programme or episode and entries must be supported by a statement of up to 500 words about why the presenter should be considered for this award.

  • BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award

    For an outstanding contribution to the art or craft of the documentary. The recipient of this award is chosen solely by The Grierson Trust at its discretion.

Published: 31 March 2017

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