London Film Festival Grierson Award 2016

Congratulations to Mehrdad Oskouei winner of The Grierson Award at this weekend's London Film Festival award ceremony for Starless Dreams.

Starless Dreams (2016)

The Grierson Award for the London Film Festival Best Documentary category recognises outstanding feature-length documentaries of integrity, originality, technical excellence or cultural significance. The award went to Starless Dreams, a thoughtful and complex portrait of juvenile delinquent women at the extreme margins of Iranian society, by veteran documentarian Mehrdad Oskouei. Announcing the winner was Jury President and Grierson, RTS and International Emmy-winner Louise Osmond.

Louise Osmond commented: “Starless Dreams is the story of young women in a juvenile detention centre in Iran. By that description you’d imagine a dark film exploring a bleak world of broken young lives. This film was the very opposite of that. It took us into a world none of us knew anything about – the street kids, thieves and children of crack addicts of Iran – and showed us a place full of humour, life and spirit. Beautifully paced with great characterisation and a very strong sense of place, director Mehrdad Oskouei captured the fears and friendships of these teenagers with such humanity. The profoundly moving irony of the film is that it was in this detention centre, with others like them, that these girls finally found a sense of family and home; you feared for them most the day they were released back into their family’s care. It’s a film that stays with you for a very long time”.

Joining Louise Osmond on the jury were the factual producer and director David Dehaney; producer, director and writer Edmund Coulthard whose credits include McQueen and I and Hunger; the Vice Chairman of The Grierson Trust Sanjay Singhal; and, the director, producer and cinematographer Sian Mcallister, whose documentary feature debut A Syrian Love Story was BAFTA-nominated.

See all previous winners of London Film Festival Grierson Award.

Published: 18 October 2016

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