The winners of the 2019 Grierson Awards

The winners of the 2019 Grierson Awards in association with All3Media: BBC, Channel 4 and Netflix score gongs with Duwayne Brooks and Stabbed: Britain's Knife Crime Crisis taking a double crown

In a night of celebration of documentary filmmaking, the 47th annual British Documentary Awards saw the BBC dominate taking seven of the 14 awards with Stabbed: Britain's Knife Crime Crisis winning Best Single Documentary - Domestic and Duwayne Brooks taking the Best Presenter gong. Channel 4's Head of News and Current Affairs, Dorothy Byrne, was crowned with the Grierson Trustees' Award. Hosted by ballroom-blitzing barrister and TV presenter, Robert Rinder, the 2019 awards were presented at a star-studded event on the Southbank last night.

Chairman of The Grierson Trust, Lorraine Heggessey said: "These awards bear the name of the man often called the father of the documentary, John Grierson. In the turbulent times we are living through, Grierson’s ethos has never been more relevant. He believed that film had a crucial role to play in countering threats to democracy and highlighting issues that matter to society. And this year we’ve seen many heavyweight themes running through the films entered for these awards. Documentary makers have been getting under the skin of some of the issues that have caused the deep-rooted schism in our society highlighted by the Brexit debate - the impact of austerity, gangs and knife-crime, Grenfell, modern slavery, homelessness and immigration. Our finalists tell these stories with an intimacy that illuminates our common humanity. In our winners you will see many examples of bold, compassionate and vital filmmaking. Congratulations to them all."

Stars and personalities from across TV and public life were present on the night including broadcasters and presenters Michael Portillo, Cherry Healey, Alice Levine, Afua Hirsch, Adam Pearson, Ranvir Singh and Mehreen Baig; artists Grayson Perry and Tai Shan Schierenberg; comedian Nish Kumar, paediatrician Dr Guddi Singh, entomologist Dr George McGavin and biochemist Liz Bonnin; Channel 4 News chief Dorothy Byrne; journalists Jon Snow, Clive Myrie, Mobeen Azhar and Sian Williams; and, First Dates Maître d' Fred Sirieix among the guests.

The evening also celebrated the work of DocLab, The Grierson Trust's training and mentoring scheme. Since 2012, DocLab has enabled 93 young people to explore documentary making, offering hands on training, paid work placements and continued mentoring. The scheme goes from strength to strength with alumni now at work across the industry as filmmakers, editors, researchers and directors. Some of this year's success stories include: Cherish Oteka produced and directed her debut BBC One documentary, Too Gay for God?.  Ben McGeorge-Henderson was selected as one of Broadcast’s Hot Shots in recognition of his specialist factual work with Raw – which includes one of tonight’s nominated films, Drowning in Plastic, Preston Hartley was commissioned by COPA90 to make a film about PTSD and Poppy Goodheart is now a producer with a feature-length Storyville documentary with Marble Films.

The scheme is supported by numerous production companies and The Trust is particularly grateful for the support of The Rank Foundation and The Rumi Foundation.

The full winners and citations are here

Published: 15 November 2019

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