Sylvia Bednarz appointed as Managing Director for The Grierson Trust

Sylvia Bednarz appointed as Managing Director for The Grierson Trust
New Managing Director, Sylvia Bednarz

The Grierson Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Sylvia Bednarz as its new Managing Director, taking over the reins from Jane Callaghan who is retiring later this year.

Sylvia will take up her position mid-September, ahead of the autumn’s 50th anniversary Grierson Awards.

Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust said: "Sylvia is a fantastic appointment. She has the perfect combination of experience, contacts and knowledge of factual filmmaking to lead The Grierson Trust through the next phase of its development. She will build on the excellent work of the current team, as The Trust continues to champion the art of the documentary through the annual awards for excellence as well as growing its reputation as a training organisation that nurtures new talent, opening the door for under-represented groups."

Sylvia Bednarz said: "I’m thrilled to be joining The Grierson Trust as Managing Director. It is truly my dream job - to nurture the next generation of documentary storytellers and celebrate the most exciting and innovative work within our sector. It’s also a privilege to build on the legacy of Jane Callaghan’s 20 years at The Trust. My time at Sheffield DocFest has been a total joy. I have worked with an extraordinary team (past and present) and have been supported by a wonderful Board of Trustees. I can’t wait to return to DocFest next year with a new cohort of Grierson DocLab trainees! 

“The Grierson Trust has enormous potential to create even greater impact in addressing the current skills gap in documentary and factual production. I look forward to working with the exceptional team, trustees, as well as new and existing industry partners to create further opportunities for fostering documentary talent."

Sylvia has worked in several roles across the documentary sector including film and TV production, commissioning for online and TV, and film festivals. Sylvia is joining The Grierson Trust from Sheffield DocFest where she has been Partnerships and Operations Director, overseeing operations, production, finance and HR departments. Her role involved securing new grants and sponsorship funding annually from over 60 UK and international partners, including the BFI, Arts Council, BBC, Channel 4, ITV, UKTV, The Guardian, ESPN, Netflix, Amazon Studios, British Council, National Geographic, Canon and BAFTA, as well as several film institutes and embassies.  

The Grierson Trust celebrates the best of documentary and factual filmmaking from Britain and around the world. Each year, theBritish Documentary Awards – more fondly known as the Griersons – shine a spotlight on the best documentaries of the year across an array of genres. The Trust also nurtures factual TV talent through its Grierson DocLab training and mentoring schemes, helping to sustain and diversify the documentary workforce in the UK. The Trust was founded in 1972 to commemorate the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson, widely regarded as the father of documentary.

The 50th annual Grierson Awards will take place on Thursday, 10 November 2022 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, London. The shortlist has been announced and the Grierson Hero of the Year Award category is still accepting nominations until 12 September. 

Published: 28 July 2022

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