The Grierson Awards 2010: Winners



Shell International Best Documentary on a Contemporary Issue

Moving to Mars

Moving to Mars

  • Director:Mat Whitecross
  • Producer:Karen Katz
  • Production company:Coded Pictures
  • First UK screening:2 February 2010; More 4

Moving to Mars charts the epic journey made by two Burmese families from a vast refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border to their new homes in the UK. At times hilarious, at times emotional, their travels provide fascinating and unique insight not only into the effects of migration, but also into one of the most important current political crises - Burma.

Best Documentary on the Arts

Arena:  T.S. Eliot

Arena: T.S. Eliot

  • Director/producer:Adam Low
  • Executive Producer:Anthony Wall
  • Production company:BBC Arena
  • First UK screening:6 June 2009; BBC Two

For the first time on television, Arena tells the whole story of the life and work of T. S. Eliot. His widow Valerie Eliot has opened her personal archive, hitherto unseen, including their private scrapbook and albums. An unprecedented insight into the life of the 20th century’s greatest poet. Contributors include Seamus Heaney, Lady Spender, Jeanette Winterson and Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

History Today Best Historical Documentary

Requiem for Detroit

Requiem for Detroit

  • Director:Julien Temple
  • Producer:George Hencken
  • Executive Producer:Roger Graef
  • Production company:Films of Record
  • First UK screening:13 March 2010; BBC Two

This film evokes an apocalyptic vision. Once America’s fourth largest city, Detroit was built by the car for the car, with the first freeways, suburbs, and shopping centres, it embodied the American dream. Now it’s a dystopic city. Greenery grows through ruined office blocks and car plants. Crime and arson are rife. But there's hope. Streets are being turned to art. Farming is returning to the city. Is this the future for post-industrial cities?

Best Science Documentary

Race and Intelligence

Race and Intelligence: Science’s Last Taboo

  • Director/producer:David Hickman
  • Producer:Leesa Rumley
  • Executive Producer:David Dugan
  • Production company:Windfall Films
  • First UK screening:26 October 2009; Channel 4

In this documentary, part of the season Race: Science's Last Taboo, Rageh Omaar sets out to find out the truth, meeting scientists who believe the research supports the view that races can be differentiated as well as those who vehemently oppose this view. By daring to ask the difficult questions, Omaar is able to explode the myths about race and IQ and reveal what he thinks are important lessons for society.

Most Entertaining Documentary

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop

  • Director:Banksy
  • Producer:Jaimie D'Cruz
  • Executive Producers:Holly Cushing, James Gay-Rees, Zam Baring
  • Production company:Paranoid Pictures Film Company Ltd
  • First UK screening:5 March 2010; General theatrical release

Exit Through The Gift Shop traces an eccentric French shop owner’s efforts to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. An incendiary true story of low-level criminality, companionship and incompetence.

Best Drama Documentary



  • Director:Peter Travis
  • Producers:Hal Vogel, David Aukin
  • Writer:Paula Milne
  • Production company:Daybreak
  • First UK screening:4 May 2009; Channel 4

Endgame is an epic political thriller revealing the true story of the secret talks that helped to end apartheid, and the brave individuals who risked everything to make them happen South Africa in 1985.

Envy Best Documentary Series

The Force

The Force

  • Director:Patrick Forbes
  • Producer:Stephanie Collins
  • Production company:Oxford Film and Television
  • First UK screening:13 October 2009; Channel 4

With unprecedented and unvarnished access to Hampshire Constabulary, this new series lays bare the challenges faced by frontline officers: investigating a murder in the social complexity of modern Britain which moves from the leafy Home Counties to London's immigrant communities; the dedicated officers trying to improve the rape conviction rate even when alcohol makes the evidence hard to find; and an arson investigation that crosses the line of a drug-fuelled underworld.

Best Cinema Documentary

Mugabe and the White African

Mugabe and the White African

  • Directors:Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson
  • Producers:David Pearson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock
  • Executive Producers:Steve Milne, Pauline Burt
  • Production company:Arturi Films Ltd
  • First UK screening:7 January 2010; General theatrical release

Michael Campbell is one of the few hundred white farmers left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began his violent 'Land Reform' program in 2000. What follows is an intimate, moving and often terrifying account of one man and his family’s extraordinary courage in the face of overwhelming injustice and brutality.

The Jonathan Gili Award for the Best Newcomer

Sons of Cuba

Sons of Cuba

  • Director:Andrew Lang
  • Producers:Francine Heywood, Laura Giles, Mandy Chang
  • Production company:Sons of Cuba Ltd, Windfall Films,
  • First UK screening:5 November 2009; General theatrical release

The Havana Boxing Academy is a boarding school that takes 9-year-old boys, and turns them into the best boxers in the world. Sons Of Cuba follows three young hopefuls through 8 dramatic months as they prepare for Cuba's National Boxing Championship for Under-12's. But during the season, crisis strikes: Fidel Castro is taken ill, and Cuba's Olympic boxing champions defect to the USA, leaving Cuba at a crossroads, and the boys contemplating a changing world.

Trustees' Award

Penny Woolcock

Penny Woolcock

Penny Woolcock has directed a string of award winning documentaries, television shows and feature films. Her television single, Tina Goes Shopping, was nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Innovation, and the follow-up, Tina Takes a Break, won Best Single Drama at the Broadcast Awards. She has collected a host of awards and nominations for her other television projects and for her fearless and original documentaries including The Wet House, The Five of Us and Silver Darlings.

Grierson Trustee and fellow film-maker Peter Symes said: "Penny Woolcock is a fearless documentary film maker – unafraid to approach difficult subjects, to question accepted mores, or to fight for what she believes in. She manages to do this without in any way losing her humanity or compassion. A joy to work with if you are behind the camera, she never loses faith with those who agree to appear in front of it."

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