The Grierson Trust announces the 12 successful young filmmakers joining its training and mentoring scheme

Twelve aspiring young people will begin to turn their passion for documentaries into reality as The Grierson Trust announces the next generation of filmmakers joining DocLab 2019.

The 2019 cohort is made up of 5 men and 7 women. Four of the trainees are from BAME backgrounds and two are neuro-diverse. They come from across the UK representing Essex, Hertfordshire, Durham, Jarrow, Kent, Suffolk, Glasgow, London, Liverpool and Sutton Coldfield.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chairman for The Grierson Trust said: "DocLab is now in its seventh year and this is our most diverse cohort yet. Our trainees are from all kinds of backgrounds, joining us from across the country. DocLab is about opening up the industry and increasing diversity by getting our new entrants job ready for careers in all aspects of factual programme-making. And the results are really showing as our alumni are working with broadcasters, new platforms and at indies across the industry."

The successful applicants selected for DocLab 2019 are:

Toni Arenyeka (25, Orpington, Bromley) is completing her masters in Pharmacy but has juggled that with her first forays into factual entertainment.

Amy Jean Carlsson (25, London) is Swedish born and moved to London in 2014 to study film-making at the University of the Arts.

Saskia Deicher (18, Hartley, Kent) studied film in sixth form at school and is now looking to turn her own film-making passion into a profession.

Jenni Herd (21, Glasgow) is about to graduate from her studies in English Literature with Film and Television studies at the University of Glasgow.

Alex Jones (22, Liverpool) is currently finishing his studies at the University of Liverpool.

Karl Knights (22 from Leiston, Suffolk) is an autistic journalist with cerebral palsy and ADHD, specialising in disability, representation and culture.

Emily McNally (24, Jarrow) graduated in English Literature and Language before travelling to Switzerland and France.

Hugh Memess (23, Welwyn Garden City) graduated in Geology before studying his masters in Environmental Science at Royal Holloway.

Laura O'Connor (23, Sutton Coldfield) is a graduate from Leeds University where she studied Film, Photography and Media.

Azeem Rajulawalla (21, Hadleigh, Essex) is in his final year at SOAS, making his first documentary - set in Uganda - as part of his studies.

Mal Senanayake (24, Durham) originally studied chemistry but then attained his Masters in Film and Television from Birmingham University.

Dhelia Snoussi (24, London) is a Youth Culture Creator for the Museum of London. Previously she has worked for Voices That Shake! and the Runnymede Trust, having graduated from in South Asian Studies from SOAS.

The Grierson DocLab has an increasingly strong track record in training and helping aspiring young filmmakers get their first break into the documentary industry. Recent notable successes include: Sammy Gecsoyler gaining a place on the PACT Diversity Scheme with Hat Trick Productions; Tammie Ash spent time with True North working on a Channel 5 series; Rhiannon Walsh is currently at BBC Scotland; Grierson Award 2018 nominee and alumnus Preston Hartley, secured a commission from COPA90, a platform that serves global football fans, with a film about mental health; Dershe Samaria’s feature documentary Stand Among the Living; One man’s journey through the Ebola crisis screened at Miami Film Festival and is now on BBC Africa; and, many individual DocLabbers are scattered at independent production companies and broadcasters across the country.

The Grierson Trust’s DocLab Training and Mentoring Scheme prepares new entrants to the industry with the skills to make them ‘job ready’ through bursary supported work placements and a dynamic programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring, giving the 18 – 25 year olds a much needed, accessible infrastructure to gain their first foothold in the documentary industry.

The popular scheme has been running for 6 years and The Grierson Trust is enormously grateful for the support it receives, particularly from the Rank Foundation as well as the UK's leading independent factual production companies. Arrow Media, Blast! Films, Dragonfly, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Nutopia, Raw, Renegade Pictures, Testimony Films, The Garden, Voltage TV, Wall to Wall and Wise Owl Films have all committed their assistance for 2019, with additional support from Blueberry Creative, Clear Cut Pictures, The Rumi Foundation and The Kit Room.

Published: 7 May 2019

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