The Grierson Trust announced today that it will provide two young filmmakers a bespoke support programme, in conjunction with Into Film (formerly First Light)

Dershe Samaria and Jade Lee, graduates of the Trust's DocLab training scheme, are to be given the opportunity to further their careers in the documentary world, enabled and funded by The Grierson Trust.

The Grierson DocLab – run in conjunction with First Light - was a unique training scheme to uncover new talent and identify fresh voices. It sought to recruit widely from across the UK, to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds, not just culturally, but also socio-economically and geographically. It enabled trainees to hit the ground running, with the endorsement of The Grierson Trust name behind them, their opportunities to enter the industry strengthened.

Through this initiative the Trust gave opportunities to 20 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 work placements for members of the group.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chairman of The Grierson Trust says: "One of the Trust's core principles is to champion and help ensure the future of the documentary industry. For us, that is about supporting individuals at a grassroots level and looking for new, under-represented voices. Over the past three years we have worked with First Light (now Into Film) to seek out young filmmakers with potential and support them in getting onto the first rungs of the industry ladder. In order to make real headway in our industry, we recognise that individuals need long-term support which is why we are now further developing our mentoring scheme."

The scheme is now moving into a new phase as the Trust awards these two DocLab alumni bespoke three-month work placements with leading independent production companies specialising in documentary filmmaking, as well the chance to attend the current Sheffield Doc/Fest, which will allow them to consolidate and build new industry contacts.

Dershe and Jade will spend time with members of The Grierson Trust – including prominent filmmakers and commissioners – as well as immersing themselves in the Festival, attending sessions and the Trust's annual Doc/Fest dinner. This provides the filmmakers with the opportunity to meet those at the heart of the industry. They will be joined in Sheffield by two other former DocLab alumni Poppy Goodheart who is currently working for the BBC in Bristol and Mei Leng Yew who is with BSkyB.

The two filmmakers are:

Dershe Samaria: After making two successful documentaries supported by the BFI last year, Dershe Samaria is now being mentored by Channel 4's commissioning editor of Cutting Edge and Grierson Trustee, Emma Cooper. Her independent company nuwave pictures, set up with co-founder Patrice Etienne is being supported by Channel 4's diversity team.

Dershe says: "The Grierson Trust is one of my biggest supporters. After years of hard graft, they have provided me with vital stepping stones and access I may not have otherwise have had. I truly appreciate and admire their ability to champion diverse voices which I believe are under-represented in the industry."

Jade Lee: Jade Lee is an up and coming creative with a background in journalism. Having landed her first production credit working as a producer on a 60 minute documentary for BBC Radio 1xtra, Jade was selected by The Grierson Trust to receive support. At present Jade is planning her first international reporting trip to North Africa.

Jade says: "It was a fantastic experience and opportunity to acquire knowledge of the industry and hone core skills. The experience with Grierson has heightened the sense of being on the right path and opened up doors for creative media ventures."

The Grierson Trust, which was first established in 1972 as the Grierson Memorial Trust upon the death of Scottish film-maker John Grierson, promotes and celebrates documentary film and television production through supporting screenings, workshops and mentoring schemes, and recognises the best of documentary-making through its annual Grierson British Documentary Awards. More information about the Trustees and the work of the Grierson Trust can be found at

For more information:

Fiona Williams

About Into Film

Into Film is an education charity that seeks to put film at the heart of children and young people's learning and cultural experience. Our ambitious UK-wide programme will provide 5-19 year olds with unparalleled opportunities to see, think, make and imagine, contributing to their educational, cultural, creative and personal development. We will achieve this by:

  • Working with the education and informal youth sectors to support and promote learning through and about film
  • Partnering with industry to enhance the appreciation and understanding of film
  • Taking advantage of the learning solutions made possible by digital technology

Into Film incorporates the legacy of two leading film education charities, First Light and FILMCLUB, and will be working together with a range of partners in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Into Film is supported by the BFI, together with funding from the film industry and a number of other sources.

Into Film is a trading name of Film Nation UK
Registered charity number 1154030
Registered Office: 31 Islington Green, London, N1 8DU

About the BFI

The BFI (British Film Institute) is investing £26m of Lottery funding over four years for Into Film to deliver a bold and visionary new film education programme, available to every 5-19 year-old and the 26,700 schools in the UK. The BFI's aim is to create a single unified programme for watching, making and learning about film in order to safeguard and boost future film audiences through learning and appreciation of film and stimulate a new generation of filmmakers and film talent.

The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class filmmakers in the UK
  • Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world
  • Growing the next generation of filmmakers and audiences

The BFI is now a Government arm's-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role, which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.
The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Greg Dyke.

Published: 9 June 2014

  • Newsletter Subscribe

  • Please select all the ways you would like to hear from The Grierson Trust:

    You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

    We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Like us

© 2019 The Grierson Trust. All rights reserved.