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.

With a grant from the Dorset Foundation, and a lot of goodwill from the mentors, each young filmmaker was commissioned to make a short documentary based around the theme 'family'. Our young filmmakers approached this theme in refreshingly versatile ways: to one, the word meant the bond that ties together a group of young men; to another it meant re-connecting with a lost sister; and to another it was unearthing a secret that had dominated family life.

Each filmmaker chose to make their film in a different way and throughout production and post-production they were supported by their mentors. All of them have had invaluable experiences of discussing the basics of how and what to shoot, managing relationships with contributors, the grammar of the cutting room and the relief and joy of seeing their finished films.

Student work

  • Cizalia

    Published: 06-Mar-2010


    I always knew I had an elder sister who lived in Mozambique but I had never met her. Cizalia was separated from my mother when she was just two and when my mother and I emigrated from South Africa to the UK...

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  • Lauren's Story

    Published: 06-Mar-2010

    Lauren's Story

    Laura’s film is about her partially sighted school friend Lauren. Lauren has been bullied since primary school because of her condition and the film follows her campaign at school to develop greater understanding of her life and problems...

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  • This Is My Family

    Published: 05-Mar-2010

    This Is My Family

    A group of teenagers explain how they interpret family and what friendship means to them. The documentary is set in south London and deals with how young people are looked upon.

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  • GrandadScott Dawe

    Published: 01-Mar-2010


    When a young man discovers some old family 8mm films, some skeletons come out of the cupboard with them. The family are clearly recognisable, but who are the other people, appearing in strange locations?

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