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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

BRITDOC Foundation has developed a new educational platform that brings documentary film into the formal learning of core subjects: www.docacademy.org

Doc Academy is:

  • An online platform devised by teachers
  • Short clips of documentary feature films, embedded into full schemes of work for English
  • Tied to English National Curriculum Objectives for KS3, GCSE & A Level
  • Easy to use, with no specialist teacher training required

Doc Academy aims to encourage the use of documentary film within formal learning in UK schools. We believe that easy, free access to high quality documentaries offer a deeper understanding of wider social issues, develops media literacy and teaches key skills.

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.

    Read more