Announcing the final nominations for Grierson 2021: the British Documentary Awards
Katie Price and Sir David Attenborough go head-to-head as the nominations are announced for the 2021 British Documentary Awards in association with All3Media and digital partners, Little Dot Studios
We’re thrilled to announce the nominations for the 2021 British Documentary Awards in association with All3Media and digital partners Little Dot Studios, with Sir David Attenborough and Katie Price nominated in the Best Single Documentary – Domestic category for A Life on Our Planet and Harvey and Me respectively.
Films in multiple categories
Six films have the distinction of nominations in two categories. They are:
- David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet for Best Single – Domestic and Best Natural History or Environmental
- Defending Digga D for Best Single – Domestic and the new Best Music category
- Locked In: Breaking the Silence for Best Single – Domestic and Best Science
- Welcome to Chechnya: The Gay Purge for Best Single – International and Current Affairs
- Once Upon a Time in Iraq for Best History and Best Series
- Damilola: The Boy Next Door for Best History and Best Presenter for Yinka Bokinni.
Commons themes and new categories
With racism and climate change continuing to dominate news headlines, films about both topics are heavily represented with Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me, Take Your Knee Off My Neck: My First Time and The School That Tried to End Racism shining the spotlight on racism and David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet and Climate Change: Ade on the Frontline exploring the impact of climate change.
The newly created sports category recognises both the glorious and murkier sides of sport with Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me and Athlete A exploring racism in soccer and the US gymnastics scandal, respectively, and Finding Jack Charlton and Gods of Snooker celebrating past heroes.
Meanwhile, in the new music category Gen X icon Billy Eilish’s film The World’s a Little Blurry competes for honours alongside films about rappers The Notorious B.I.G and Digga D and the late punk icon Poly Styrene.
Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust says: "Following another truly challenging year, I am delighted to announce such a varied and engaging list of nominations, all of which are highly memorable and impactful films. These nominations represent a perfect mix of both established and emerging talent as well as a range of broadcasters and platforms. This highlights the significance and popularity of the documentary genre to both long standing channels and newer providers like the streamers."
The 56 shortlisted films and five presenters will now go forward to judging ahead of the 49th annual awards ceremony on 10th November 2021.
The BBC dominates the nominations with 28 entries in the running overall. Netflix continues to cement its reputation in the documentary genre with ten nominated films. Channel 4 have seven nominations in the bag, with Sky picking up three, ITV two and Apple TV+, PBS, HBO and S4C awarded one apiece. The remainder is made up of festival and university screenings alongside theatrical releases.
Recognising emerging talent
The Best Presenter shortlist recognises both fresh and established talent with documentary newcomers Alison Hammond, Roman Kemp and Yinki Bokinni competing for honours alongside Dr Chris and Dr Xand Van Tulleken for Back to School, Our Silent Emergency, Damilola: The Boy Next Door and Surviving the Virus: My Brother & Me.
Emerging documentary talent is recognised in the Best Student Documentary category which feature films from students from Arts University Bournemouth, The National Film and Television School, the University of Westminster and University College London.
In addition to the 15 categories, there will also be a new special award – the Grierson Hero of the Year Award – presented to an individual nominated by their industry peers and judged by the Trustees to have made a positive impact within the industry over the last 12 months.
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Published: 20 September 2021