The Grierson Trust
The Grierson Trust

July 21, 2022

2022 Grierson Awards Shortlist Unveiled

Jay, Joe, two Jamies, Jackie and Joan all make the shortlist in the 50th anniversary 2022 Grierson Awards in association with All3Media

The Grierson Trust announces the shortlist for the 50th anniversary British Documentary Awards in association with All3Media. The 2022 shortlist features some of the most talked-about factual programmes of the year alongside a diverse line-up of newcomer and established presenters including Jay Blades, Joe Lycett, Jamie MacDonald and Jamie O’Leary while films about Jackie and Joan Collins grace the Best Arts, Entertaining and Single Documentary – Domestic categories.

From contemporary scandals of the Grenfell disaster and the Post Office IT crisis, remembering the events of 9/11 and the development of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, to the music of the Beatles and Freddy Mercury or and life as a midwife in Yorkshire, the range and scope of the films shortlisted captures and reflects the world in microcosm.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust says: "As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our awards this amazing array of films from around the world  is the perfect way to highlight the pivotal role documentary plays in our cultural life. The varied and engaging shortlist represents some of the most outstanding and impactful factual programmes screened in the past 12 months and the dynamic creative talent that brought them to our screens.

“I’m also pleased that the 2022 presenter shortlist is our most diverse yet, demonstrating real change happening within the industry, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes as we work towards greater inclusivity and better representation of all sections of society. The Grierson Trust has long been committed to nurturing new talent and bringing fresh voices to factual programming.”

The 2022 Griersons will also welcome back its Best Cinema category from its pandemic-induced purdah with big screen hits Navalny, Becoming Cousteau and Young Plato making the cut.

See the full shortlist

The 120 shortlisted films and eight presenters will now go forward to final nominations and judging ahead of 50th annual awards ceremony on 10th November 2022.

The BBC tops the shortlist with 42 entries overall. Netflix has 14 films in the running; Channel 4 has 12; Sky, nine and ITV seven. Apple TV+ and Prime Video have five films each, Disney+ has 3 and National Geographic two. Al Jazeera, Channel 5,, and Discovery all have one each while the remainder is made up of festival and university screenings alongside theatrical releases.

The range of institutions represented in the student category also sees a number of firsts with entries stretching from Falmouth to Newcastle, and the London College of Communication with three films in the running.

Twelve films have the honour of being shortlisted in multiple categories. They are:

  • Becoming Cousteau (Cinema and Natural History or Environmental)
  • Gazza (Sports and Series)
  • Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51 (Presenter and Science)
  • jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy (Series and Music)
  • Joe Lycett Vs the Oil Giant (Presenter and Natural History or Environment)
  • Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story (Single Documentary – Domestic and Arts)
  • The Last Mountain (Sports and Single Documentary – Domestic)
  • Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 (Single Documentary – International and History)
  • The Missing Children (Current Affairs and History)
  • Navalny (Current Affairs and Cinema)
  • The Reason I Jump (Single Documentary – International and Cinema)
  • Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) (Music and Cinema)
  • Uprising (Series and History)

The Best Presenter shortlist recognises a diverse range of voices, including several newcomers to the documentary making. They are:

  • ALICE LEVINE for Sex Actually with Alice Levine
  • AMOL RAJAN for The Princes and the Press
  • ASHLEY BANJO for Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black & White
  • ELLIE SIMMONDS for Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism?
  • JAMIE MACDONALD & JAMIE O’LEARY for Blind Ambition
  • JAY BLADES for Jay Blades: Learning to Read At 51
  • JOE LYCETT for Joe Lycett Vs the Oil Giant
  • SATHNAM SANGHERA for Empire State of Mind

See the full shortlist

The final nominations will be announced on Wednesday 21st September. The 50th anniversary awards event will take place on 10th November at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Grierson Hero of the Year Award

The deadline for the Grierson Hero of the Year Award (sponsored by The Talent Manager) has been extended to Monday 12 September. Industry can still nominate someone working behind the scenes for this accolade introduced last year, all completely for free. The award will be presented to an individual judged by the Trustees to have made a positive impact within the industry during the previous 12 months. This person may be working in any area and be at any level of their career. Two references and up to 500 words on why they should win the Grierson Hero of the Year Award.

Nominate your Hero of the Year

One award is still to be announced, the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award. The recipient of this award is chosen by the Grierson Board and recognises an outstanding contribution to the art or craft of the documentary.  

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