Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell take on Grayson Perry, Sue Perkins and Trevor Phillips for the Best Presenter crown as the shortlist for the 43rd Annual British Documentary Awards is announced

London: Tuesday 28th July 2015: The official build up to the 43rd annual Griersons begins as The Grierson Trust announces its shortlist for the 2015 British Documentary Awards which features films and series from the widest ever selection of broadcasters and broadcast platforms including first-timers CNN, Vice News, iPlayer and CBBC.

The full shortlist

The shortlisting jury panels met to debate, champion and whittle down the entries to just eight films in each of the 12 categories (listed in full below). They are now put forward to the next round of judging in September when Trustees, filmmakers, genre specialists and industry experts will convene to choose their winners. These ultimate winners will be announced at a star-studded awards ceremony on Monday 2nd November.

Whilst the BBC and Channel 4 continue to dominate with 34 and 25 entries respectively, the 2015 shortlist sees the widest spread of broadcasters and channels ever represented. Sky and ITV feature as does Channel 5 for the first time since 2009 with two nominations (Can’t Pay? Final Demand Special and GPs: Behind Closed Doors). CNN makes its first ever appearance with Extreme Antibiotics, as does Vice.com with The Islamic State, iPlayer with Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake and, in a children’s first, CBBC with Mr Alzheimers and Me from Newcomer Chloe Fairweather.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chairman of the Grierson Trust says: “I’m delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2015 Griersons. We have another amazingly strong year with each category jammed with a variety of powerful, impactful and memorable films.

“It’s brilliant to see such a range of channels involved with digital and children’s networks standing beside their mainstream counterparts. And I’m heartened by the diversity of list with more women being recognised both on and off-camera.

“The shortlist contains the agenda-setting documentaries of 2014/15, flanked by some lesser known gems. Without exception, each category jury mentioned how difficult the shortlisting process was with young Newcomer directors standing shoulder to shoulder with the Grierson-winning alumni including Adam Curtis, Kim Longinotto, Nick Broomfield and Brian Woods.

“Regarded as the Oscars of documentary making, winning a Grierson is a coveted honour for filmmakers from across the globe. Judged by their peers, the Griersons champion and recognise filmmakers’ dedication, style and wit - the hallmarks of brilliant documentary making. Our judges now face a summer of deliberation and debate and I look forward to announcing the final nominations in the autumn.”

A record 12 films have the honour of being shortlisted in multiple categories. They are:

  • 24 Hours in Police Custody, earning Alisa Pomeroy recognition in both Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic and Best Series Categories where she faces Ellena Wood’s Excluded: Kicked Out of School.
  • Sam Forsdike’s The Stranger on the Bridge is up against Jamie Roberts’ Angry White and Proud in both Best Newcomer and Contemporary Theme – Domestic Categories.
  • Grierson alumni Kim Longinotto and Nick Broomfield have their films Dreamcatcher and Tales of the Grim Sleeper shortlisted in both Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – International and Best Cinema categories. Also in Contemporary Theme – International, James Bluemel’s The Romanians Are Coming features in the Best Series category.
  • Presenters Grayson Perry, Sue Perkins, Levison Wood and Will Millard each see their series shortlisted in Arts (Grayson Perry: Who Are You?), Newcomer (The Mekong River with Sue Perkins) and Series (Walking the Nile, Hunters of the South Seas) respectively.
  • Finally, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth makes its mark on both Arts and Newcomer shortlists.

Final nominations will be announced on 15th September prior to the awards ceremony at The Mermaid, London on 3rd November.

The Grierson Trust is grateful to and generously supported by Sky Atlantic, The Open University, ITN Source, Shell, Envy, Bertha DocHouse, the British Council, Nyman Libson Paul, Satusfaction, and Clockwork Capital.

The full shortlist

Published: 28 July 2015

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