The Grierson Awards 2017 shortlist is announced

Grayson Perry in the running to win the best-loved documentary presenter award for a third year as this year’s Grierson Awards shortlist is announced

The full shortlist

London, Thursday 27 July, 2017: The Grierson Trust is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Grierson Awards. Among them eight of the nation's most-loved presenters Nadiya Hussain, Sally Phillips, Adam Pearson alongside Grayson Perry, a previous winner in 2013 and 2015, who will be hoping to make it a hat-trick win with Grayson Perry: All Man.

Announcing the shortlist, Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of the Grierson Trust says: "The 2017 list features our widest range of broadcasters and platforms ever represented, thanks in part to the new Shorts category which will allow punchy and impactful films, with a running time of under 25 minutes, the recognition they deserve.”

National Geographic, Al Jazeera,, Netflix, Vice, BBC Three and all feature alongside mainstream cinema and festival releases. Says Lorraine, “It’s reassuring to see these digital platforms funding high quality documentaries that bring fresh perspectives to our screens being represented on the shortlist."

Of the 103 films on the shortlist across 14 category awards, the BBC has 41 films in the running, Channel 4 follows with 19, Sky has five films, with ITV and Channel 5 having three apiece. Many directors have the honour of being shortlisted in more than one category: Pip Broughton's Abferfan: The Green Hollow features in Best Single Documentary - Domestic and Best Historical; Dan Edge and Lauren Mucciolo's Last Days in Solitary in Best Single Documentary - International and Best Current Affairs; and, Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro in Best Historical and Best Cinema.

Six shortlisted directors also have their presenters nominated in the Best Presenter category. They include Sally Phillips and Clare Richards' A World Without Down's Syndrome? in Best Single - Domestic; Rich Hall and Chris Cottam's Rich Hall's Presidential Grudge Match in Best Single Documentary - International; Grayson Perry with Neil Crombie and Arthur Cary's Grayson Perry All Man in Best Arts; Tom Holland and Kevin Sim's Isis: The Origins of Violence in Best Historical; Chris Van Tulleken with Emeka Onono and Jack Rampling's The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs in Best Science; and, Nadiya Hussein and Martha Delap's Chronicles of Nadiya in Best Entertaining. Completing the Best Presenter line-up is Adam Pearson for My Amazing Twin and Stacey Dooley for Stacey Dooley Investigates: Young Sex for Sale in Japan.

Meanwhile, Director Daniel Gordon takes the unique honour of featuring in the same year with two different documentaries: Hillsborough in Best Single Documentary - Domestic and The Fall in Best Single Documentary - International.

Thirty four women directors are represented this year, with 98 male directors shortlisted. Many former Grierson winners have made the cut. James Newton (Conviction: Murder at the Station), Marc Williamson (Hospital) and James Bluemel (Exodus) are all previous Series winners in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Last year's Constructed Series winner - The Secret Life of Four and Five Year Olds - appears again in 2017 alongside The Trial: Murder in the Family co-directed by Nick Holt who won in 2011 and 2014. Winner of the 2014 International award, Marcel Mettelsiefen, is shortlisted again for his latest Children in the Frontline: The Escape. And last year's Trustees' Award winner, Louis Theroux is back again in the Cinema shortlist for My Scientology Movie with director John Dower.

Lorraine Heggessey sums up this year’s impressive shortlist: "The Griersons recognise the crème de la crème of documentary making with young newcomer directors standing shoulder to shoulder with Grierson-winning alumni. The shortlist contains the agenda-setting documentaries of 2016/17, flanked by some lesser-known gems. Our juries now face a summer of deliberation and I look forward to announcing the final nominations in the autumn."

These 103 films will now go forward to final nominations and judging ahead of 45th annual star-studded awards ceremony on 6th November 2017 at The Mermaid, London.

The full shortlist

Published: 27 July 2017

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