32 new trainees selected across three Grierson DocLab schemes

32 new trainees selected across three Grierson DocLab schemes
Meet the Grierson DocLab core trainees for 2021

Our new Grierson DocLab In Focus schemes kick off with online training this month, with the core scheme to follow in May

Our two new Grierson DocLab In Focus schemes for Production Management and Editing launch this month with the support of Netflix.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust said: “This collaboration with Netflix focuses on crucial roles where we know there is a skills shortage, particularly outside London. In creating these new schemes The Grierson Trust is opening up opportunities to individuals who may face barriers to entry or progression, as well as to people from diverse backgrounds. Our aim is to improve inclusion across documentary and factual production from the grass roots up. These new schemes will considerably increase the training we offer, building on the success of our existing DocLab scheme which develops new film making talent.”

Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management

2021 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management trainees

Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management sought applications from people with strong admin skills to start embarking on their careers within one of the least understood but most valuable TV production careers. The final eight feature several who are pivoting careers including a former sound engineer, accountant, public relations manager, location manager and even a yoga teacher.

The programme covers material that will qualify trainees as production assistants before they embark on a three-month placement on a Netflix documentary production, working as part of the production management team and gaining invaluable experience to kickstart their new careers.

This course will be led by experienced trainer and industry professional Tina Jaffray whose credits include Head of Production for Vikings Live from the British Museum and who has experience in events from the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Opening ceremonies. Additional support is being provided by Netflix and Clear Cut Pictures, with speakers from Blast! Films, The Garden, Minnow Films, Box to Box Films, Brook Lapping and Studio Lambert amongst others.

Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing

2021 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing trainees

Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing is creating the opportunity for junior and inexperienced editors to enhance their offline skills and make the step up to becoming Assistant Editors. The eight recruits come from a variety of backgrounds including social media editors, edit assistants and even a previous winner of the Grierson for Best Student Documentary.

Their course will be led by award-winning documentary maker, Claire Ferguson whose work includes Grammy-winning Concert for George and Grierson-nominated Destination Unknown. Speakers include Chloe Lambourne, editor of multi-award winning For Sama, Rupert Houseman editor of Gun No. 6, Bedlam and The Apprentice, plus Screen International Rising Star 2019, Mdhamiri Á Nkemi and editor Dennis Mabry. Additional support will be provided from Raw TV.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust said: “Our DocLab programmes are a vital element of The Trust's commitment to help nurture new talent as they forge their way in our industry. We are grateful for the support of our sponsors as they enable us to increase the diversity of those working in documentary and factual programming in class, race, geography, gender and beyond.”

Grierson DocLab core

2021 Grierson DocLab core trainees

Finally, the annual new entrant scheme, Grierson DocLab will return in May supported by Netflix, The Rank Foundation and The Rumi Foundation. This year 16 young people will take part in a programme of training that will enable them to start their documentary making careers. Aged 19 – 25 years old, the trainees have been recruited from across the UK – from Gwynedd to Colchester to Airdrie. They’ll undertake a week’s training as well as attending the online edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest, editing and camera training, a bursary-supported work placement and on-going mentoring support.

Now in its 9th year, Grierson DocLab has an increasingly strong track record in training and helping aspiring young filmmakers get their first break into the documentary industry. Recent successes include: Poppy Goodheart (2013) has been filming for the past few months in Liverpool for a programme that’s part of Channel 4’s First Cut strand for first-time directors. Michael Jenkins’ (2012) Bristol-based production company Blak Wave made We Are Not the Virus as part of the Culture in Quarantine collection on the BBC. Cherish Oteka (2016) is producing and directing a drama doc for The Guardian and Doc Society. Dershe Samaria’s (2013) production company, Nuwave Pictures has been selected for The TV Collective and Channel 4’s Indie Accelerator programme and Rowan Ings (2016) has been awarded a Scottish Documentary Institute Bridging the Gap development grant. Eloise Millard (2018) has been a VT Researcher for 999: On the Frontline, charting the experience of paramedics working during the pandemic. Mal Senanayake and Emily McNally (2019) have both worked on the BBC Three reality show, Angels of the North. Plus, in true lockdown fashion, several of our DocLab Alumni have worked remotely on the research for Life in a Day, a YouTube Originals documentary directed by Kevin Macdonald.

We are enormously grateful for the support it receives, particularly from new sponsors Netflix, The Rank Foundation and many of the UK's leading independent factual production companies, plus additional support from The Rumi Foundation.

Meet the Grierson DocLab core trainees

Meet the Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management trainees

Meet the Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing trainees

If you would like to become a mentor to our Production Management or Editing trainees, email .

2021 Grierson DocLab and supporters

Published: 8 April 2021

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