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The Grierson Trust has a long history of encouraging and supporting young filmmakers through its awards competition but the Trust also collaborates on a number of projects to develop documentary filmmaking skills and a greater understanding of the documentary form.

First Light

First Light is the UK’s leading organisation which funds and inspires young people to develop their own films. With our help, First Light ring-fenced 30% of its grant allocation to applications to make short documentaries. We also commissioned Keep It Real, by award-winning documentary director Daisy Asquith, to encourage and inspire an untapped appetite for making documentaries. We were delighted that our support led to a four-fold increase in applications to the fund specifically for documentaries.

Learn more about the winners here

Second Light Doc Lab

The Grierson Trust and First Light are now launching a new training initiative – the Second Light Doc Lab – which aims to inspire and encourage 10 young people, aged between 18-25 years, to find employment in the factual content and documentary world. We will do this with an immersive and supportive programme of training, mentoring and practical experience.

Find out more here

Doc Academy: Docs in Schools

Launching in 2013, Doc Academy is a partnership with the Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation to develop an online resource which will encourage the use of documentary film within teaching in UK primary and secondary schools. The aim is to ensure that children have easy access to high quality documentaries and to make documentaries a normal part of children’s lives. With the dominance of formatted and reality TV content on our screens we believe it is more important than ever for students to have exposure to quality documentary films which offer a deeper understanding of key issues about community, environment and social justice both within the UK and beyond.

To this end we are developing a website, devised by teachers for teachers, which provides a trusted source of the very best non-fiction content with associated lesson plans, covering a range of curriculum based key issues in key subject areas.

Previous schemes

  • Mentoring


    The Grierson Mentoring Scheme was aimed at young people who are interested and inspired by documentaries but who would never normally get a look-in on our somewhat enclosed and rarefied world. The explicit aim of the scheme was to locate young people from outside the usual recruiting ground of film school, but instead through youth clubs and BTec courses, and then pair them up with some of the best and most experienced documentary makers in the country to make a short film.

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