The Grierson Awards 2011: Nominations

Categories

Nominations

Deluxe 142 Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - Domestic

23 Week Babies: The Price of Life

23 Week Babies: The Price of Life

  • Director:Adam Wishart
  • Executive Producer:Julian Mercer
  • Production company:BBC Bristol Factual
  • First UK screening:9 March 2011; BBC Two

The science writer, Adam Wishart, explores the British policy of resuscitating extremely premature babies. For those born in the 23rd week he reveals alarming statistics that question whether the policy is humane and cost-effective. In Holland, such babies are left to die. In this country, Adam argues, we should either revive fewer babies or ensure that there is sufficient provision to care for them throughout their ensuing lives.

Battle for Barking

Battle for Barking

  • Director:Laura Fairrie
  • Production company:Dartmouth Films Ltd
  • First UK screening:30 November 2010; More 4

Laura Fairrie's film records an historic moment in British politics through the microcosm of one East London constituency. Long-standing Labour MP Margaret Hodge is running against Nick Griffin, the British National Party leader. Griffin is a controversial figure, with a conviction for inciting racial hatred, who nonetheless commands considerable support. Battle for Barking gives a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the 'BNP family' and the working class disillusionment with the Labour party that fuelled the BNP campaign, offering an honest, moving and humorous portrait of a white working class community forced to face the changes brought by new immigrant populations.

Between Life and Death

Between Life and Death

  • Director/producer:Nick Holt
  • Executive Producer:Meredith Chambers
  • Production company:BBC Wales
  • First UK screening:13 July 2010; BBC One

This film follows three extraordinary cases highlighting some of the most complex ethical dilemmas facing medicine today. Filmed in the UK’s leading critical care unit (Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge) this observational documentary looks at the three patients who, without immediate medical intervention, would all have died at the scene of their accidents.

Shed Your Tears and Walk Away

Shed Your Tears and Walk Away

  • Director:Jez Lewis
  • Producer:Rachel Wexler
  • Executive Producers:Nick Broomfield, John Marshall
  • Production company:Bungalow Town Productions
  • First UK screening:9 June 2010; General theatrical release

A real-life drama about why, in the beautiful and quirky rural town of Hebden Bridge, filmmaker Jez Lewis' childhood friends are killing themselves. Beginning with a personal quest for understanding, the film moves into a year-long drama of human tragedy and redemption as principal character Cass comes to terms with his own mortality and attempts to lift himself out of his cycle of self-destruction.

Shell Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - International

Donor Unknown

Donor Unknown

  • Director:Jerry Rothwell
  • Producers:Al Morrow, Hilary Durman
  • Executive Producers:Jonny Persey, Jim Butterworth,Daniel J Chalfen
  • Production company:Met Film, Redbird, More4, Arte GEIE
  • First UK screening:5 November 2010; Sheffield Doc/Fest

Donor Unknown follows the story of JoEllen, as she goes in search of the sperm donor father she only knows as Donor 150. JoEllen manages to track down a half-sister in New York. The New York Times picks up the story, and 12 more half-siblings emerge across the USA. The article also falls into the hands of Jeffrey Harrison. In the 1980s, Jeffrey supplemented his income by becoming a sperm donor. His number was Donor 150.

Secret Iraq - The Insurgency

Secret Iraq - The Insurgency

  • Director:Sam Collyns
  • Producers:James Jones, Sam Collyns
  • Executive Producer:Eamonn Matthews
  • Production company:Quicksilver Media
  • First UK screening:29 September 2010; BBC Two

This two-part series tells the story of Iraq after the 2003 invasion. To gather testimony, the team filmed with key Iraqi insurgents who spoke for the first time about their operations against coalition forces. They filmed with Iraqi politicians, tribal leaders and civilians, as well as American and British soldiers, diplomats, hostages and spies. What emerges is a very different history to that related by politicians in London and Washington.

Marathon Boy

Storyville: Marathon Boy

  • Director:Gemma Atwal
  • Producers:Gemma Atlwal, Matt Norman
  • Executive Producers:Alan Hayling, Nick Fraser
  • Production company:One Horse Town, Renegade Pictures (UK) Ltd
  • First UK screening:16 March 2011; BBC Four

The story of the youngest marathon runner ever. Following Budhia's roller-coaster journey over five years, Marathon Boy is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption and broken dreams set between the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India. Nothing is what it seems in this riveting story and Atwal continually shifts viewer identification to tell both a shocking story of opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a foster father and a child.

The War You Don’t See

The War You Don’t See

  • Directors:John Pilger, Alan Lowery
  • Producer:John Pilger
  • Executive Producer:Christopher Hird
  • Writer:John Pilger
  • Production company:Dartmouth Films Ltd
  • First UK screening:13 December 2010; Picture House Cinemas

A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war. The film traces the history of ‘embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War I to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan. As weapons and propaganda are ever more sophisticated, the very nature of war has developed into an ‘electronic battlefield’ But who is the real enemy today?

Bridgeman Art Library Best Documentary on the Arts

Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet (episode 1)

Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet (episode 1)

  • Director:Rob Farquhar
  • Producer:Alice Mayhall
  • Executive Producers:Clive Tulloh, Southan Morris, Clare Paterson
  • Series Producer:Rob Farquhar
  • Production company:Tiger Aspect Productions
  • First UK screening:8 March 2011; BBC Four

With unique access, this film follows one of the world's most respected art institutions over a tough and dramatic year, as it produces Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall. Told through the eyes of the very people who make this challenging art form beautiful, this is the painful truth of dancers’ lives. Choreographer Derek Deane demands absolute perfection, the dancers are under excruciating pressure to meet his high standards.

Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire

  • Director/producer:Tony Palmer
  • Executive Producer:Steven Machat
  • Production company:Isolde Films, The Machat Company
  • First UK screening:19 November 2010; BBC Four

The 1972 European tour of singer/poet Leonard Cohen. This film was believed completely lost, but was rescued by chance in 2010 from almost 3,000 fragments and finally broadcast almost 38 years after its original edit. Filmed throughout Europe when Cohen was at the height of his powers, this film is an intimate portrait of an extraordinary artist and his beliefs.

Elgar - The Man Behind the Mask

Elgar - The Man Behind the Mask

  • Director:John Bridcut
  • Executive Producer:Fiona Morris
  • Writer:John Bridcut
  • Production company:Crux Productions, Prospect Pictures
  • First UK screening:12 November 2010; BBC Four

The composer of Land of Hope and Glory is often regarded as the quintessential English gentleman, but Edward Elgar's image of hearty nobility was deliberately contrived. In reality, he was the son of a shopkeeper, who was awkward, nervous, self-pitying and often rude, while his marriage to his devoted wife Alice was complicated by romantic entanglements which fired his creative energy.

The Trouble with Tolstoy

The Trouble with Tolstoy

  • Director/Producer:Rupert Edwards
  • Executive Producer:Ross Wilson, Fiona Morris
  • Writer:Alan Yentob
  • Production company:Matchlight
  • First UK screening:27 March 2011; BBC One

In this two-part Imagine documentary, especially commissioned as part of the BBC's Year of Books, Alan Yentob examines the life and times of the renowned novelist Leo Tolstoy, to reveal a difficult, restless, ferociously brilliant man with an appetite for causing trouble - for himself, for his family and for the world around him.

ITN Source Best Historical Documentary

The Day John Lennon Died

The Day John Lennon Died

  • Director:Michael Waldman
  • Producers:Michael Waldman, Lorraine McKechnie
  • Executive Producer:Sue Summers
  • Production company:Finestripe Productions
  • First shown:6 December 2010; ITV1

On 8 December 2010, it was 30 years since John Lennon died. This film marked that watershed moment in our recent history, a moment as significant as the deaths of Kennedy or Diana. It tells the story of John’s last day through those with whom he came into contact, from his widow, Yoko Ono Lennon, to the fan who took the famous final photograph of John with his killer and the doctor who battled to save his life.

Fire in Babylon

Fire in Babylon

  • Director:Stevan Riley
  • Producers:John Battsek, Charles Steel
  • Executive Producers:Ben Goldsmith, Ben Elliot
  • Writer:Stevan Riley
  • Production company:E & G Productions, H & H Productions, Cowboy Films, Passion Pictures.
  • First shown:1 October 2010; London Film Festival

Fire In Babylon is the breathtaking story of how the West Indies triumphed over its colonial masters through the achievements of one of the most gifted teams in sporting history. In a turbulent era of apartheid in South Africa; race riots in England and civil unrest in the Caribbean, the West Indian cricketers, led by the enigmatic Viv Richards, struck a defiant blow at the forces of white prejudice worldwide. Their undisputed skill, combined with a fearless spirit, allowed them to dominate the genteel game at the highest level, replaying it on their own terms.

My Perestroika

My Perestroika

  • Director:Robin Hessman
  • Producers:Robin Hessman, Rachel Wexler
  • Executive Producers:Simon Klimurry, Sally Jo Fifer
  • Production company:Red Square Productiona, Bungalow Town Productions, ITVS International, American Documentary/POV & YLE
  • First shown:5 November 2010; Sheffield Doc/Fest

My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times – from sheltered Soviet childhoods, to the collapse of the USSR during adolescence, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Using a wealth of footage rarely seen outside of Russia, My Perestroika combines an intimate view of the past with the contemporary lives of former schoolmates, painting a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat

  • Director:Russell England
  • Producer:Stephen Walker
  • Executive Producer:Sally George
  • Writers:Ben Macintyre, Stephen Walker
  • Production company:Walker George Films Ltd
  • First shown:5 December 2010; BBC Two

For more than 60 years, the true story behind Operation Mincemeat has been shrouded in secrecy. Now, best-selling author and Times columnist Ben Macintyre reveals how a remarkable team of British secret agents and a dead Welsh tramp managed to fool Hitler in the most successful deception of the Second World War.

Televisual Best Science Documentary

The Joy of Stats

The Joy of Stats

  • Director/producer:Dan Hillman
  • Executive Producers:Archie Baron, Cassian Harrison
  • Production company:Wingspan Productions
  • First shown:7 December 2010; BBC Four

A rollercoaster-ride through the wonderful world of statistics, presented by Swedish superstar boffin and internet legend Professor Hans Rosling. The film entertainingly explores the history of statistics, how stats works mathematically and how, in our data deluge age, statistics is changing the way science itself is being conducted. In one spectacular section he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years in just four minutes – using 120,000 numbers.

Nothing

Nothing

  • Director/producer:Nic Stacey
  • Executive Producer:Paul Sen
  • Writer:Nic Stacey
  • Production company:Furnace Ltd
  • First shown:28 March 2011; BBC Four

Nothing explores science at the very limits of human perception, a place where the deepest mysteries of the universe lie. Over sixty minutes Professor Jim Al-Kahlili sets out to answer one very simple question - what is nothing? His journey ends with perhaps the most profound insight about reality that humanity has ever made. Everything came from nothing. The quantum world of the super-small shaped the vast universe we inhabit today.

Polar Bear - Spy on the Ice

Polar Bear - Spy on the Ice

  • Director:John Downer
  • Producer:Philip Dalton
  • Executive Producer:John Downer
  • Writers:Philip Dalton, John Downer
  • Production company:John Downer Productions
  • First shown:29 December 2010; BBC One

Shot mainly by covert spy-cameras on the Arctic islands of Svalbard, this film gets closer than ever before to the world’s greatest land predator. The cameras follow the bears as they hunt seals, raid bird colonies, dive for kelp and indulge in entertaining courtship rituals. As the film captures its intimate portrait of polar bear’s lives, it reveals how the polar bear’s intelligence and curiosity help it cope in a world of shrinking ice.

Wonders of the Universe - Destiny

Wonders of the Universe - Destiny

  • Director/producer:Stephen Cooter
  • Executive Producer:Jonathan Renouf
  • Series Producer:James Van Der Pool
  • Production company:BBC Vision Productions, The Discovery Channel
  • First shown:6 March 2011; BBC Two

Having explored the wonders of the solar system, Professor Brian Cox steps boldly on to an even bigger stage – the universe. Who are we? Where do we come from? For thousands of years humanity has turned to religion and myth for answers to these enduring questions. But in this series, Brian presents a different set of answers – answers provided by science.

Current Most Entertaining Documentary

Bodysnatchers of New York

Bodysnatchers of New York

  • Director:Toby Dye
  • Producers:Toby Dye, Denise Castelli, Edmond Buckley
  • Executive Producers:Graham Ebbs, Denise Castelli
  • Production company:Bearkatt Productions
  • First shown:26 October 2010; More 4

Highly cinematic documentary charting a macabre mystery that unfolds as the lives of a handful of starkly different, seemingly unconnected characters are intimately drawn together by a shocking crime involving over a thousand mutilated corpses in a tale of twenty-first century bodysnatching in the city of New York.

High Society Brides

High Society Brides

  • Director:Hannah Berryman
  • Executive Producer:Katie Buchanan
  • Series Producer:Nick Mirsky
  • Production company:KEO Films
  • First shown:20 October 2010; BBC Two

Nothing marks out a life that seems to be destined for wealth and privilege as sharply as the photographs that appear on the ‘Girls in Pearls’ page of Country Life magazine. This is where the nation’s most blue-blooded young women have, for the past hundred years, announced their engagements.

Sync or Swim (Men Who Swim)

Storyville: Sync or Swim (Men Who Swim)

  • Director:Dylan Williams
  • Producers:Al Morrow, Erik Pauser
  • Executive Producers:Jerry Rothwell, Jonny Persey, Greg Sanderson, Nick Fraser
  • Series Producer:Nick Fraser
  • Production company:Amp Film, Met Film Production
  • First shown:14 June 2010; BBC Four

Men Who Swim is a humorous and poignant look at a group of middle-aged men who have found unlikely success as members of Sweden’s all male synchronised swimming team. What began as a weekly escape from work and family responsibilities, gradually evolved into a more serious commitment. Funny and poignant ultimately it’s about realising that maybe you’ve already got everything you ever wanted.

True Stories: Guilty Pleasures

True Stories: Guilty Pleasures

  • Director:Julie Moggan
  • Producer:Rachel Wexler
  • Production company:Bungalow Town Productions
  • First shown:12 April 2011; More 4

Mills & Boon sell over seven million romance novels a year in the UK and export to 109 countries around the world, with annual global sales of 200 million. Julie Moggan's film examines the allure of the fantasy world created by Mills & Boon, introducing three Mills & Boon enthusiasts, all of whom want to believe that the romantic fantasy can transcend their every day lives

ENVY Best Documentary Series

Agony & Ecstasy

Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet

  • Director:Rob Farquhar
  • Producer:Alice Mayhall
  • Executive Producers:Clive Tulloh, Southan Morris, Clare Paterson
  • Production company:Tiger Aspect Productions
  • First shown:8 March 2011; BBC Four

This raw and revealing series follows events at one of the world's most respected art institutions during a tough and dramatic year, exposing what it takes to co-ordinate top class ballet. Told through the eyes of the very people who make this challenging art form beautiful, this is the painful truth of dancers’ lives. From injury and exhaustion to accolades and elation, all in the pursuit of perfection.

Coppers

Coppers

  • Director/producers:Anthony Philipson, Ben Rumney, Tim Wardle
  • Executive producer:Simon Ford
  • Series producer:Ben Rumney
  • Production company:Blast! Films
  • First shown:1 November 2010; Channel 4

Filmed across England, from inner cities to country beats, Coppers reveals what the police are up against every day of their working lives. The series captures the reality of the job: from the riot police who face serious public disorder on our streets, to the seasoned custody sergeants who've seen it all, from the staff facing time-wasters calling 999, to emergency response teams racing to the scene only to find themselves acting as social workers or marriage guidance counsellors.

Hugh’s Fish Fight

Hugh’s Fish Fight

  • Director/producer:Will Anderson
  • Executive Producer:Andrew Palmer
  • Writer:Hugh Fearnley-Whittenstall
  • Production company:KEO Films
  • First shown:13 January 2011; Channel 4

In his latest campaigning series, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is leaving the comfort of River Cottage behind to find out what is really going on at the industrial end of our fisheries. And what he finds is that things are not just bad … they’re mad. Over half the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back overboard dead, and Hugh’s campaign (now supported by over 750,000 people) wants to stop it.

Human Planet

Human Planet

  • Director/producers:Mark Flowers, Nicolas Brown, Tom Hugh Jones, Tuppence Stone
  • Executive Producer:Brian Leith
  • Series Producers:Dale Templar
  • Production company:BBC, Discovery, France Television
  • First shown:13 January 2011; BBC One

Human Planet is a first: a wildlife series about mankind. We are probably the most successful creature on the planet, managing to adapt to every habitat - from the desert to the jungle and even the frozen Arctic. The series features epic yet intimate glimpses of human lives at the very edges of survival. We all seek the same things – but in such different ways! But do we have what it takes to survive our own foolishness?

DocHouse & The Bertha Foundation Best Cinema Documentary

The Arbor

The Arbor

  • Director:Clio Barnard
  • Producer:Tracy O'Riordon
  • Executive Producer:Michael Morris
  • Production company:Artangel
  • First shown:15 October 2010; London Film Festival

The powerful true story of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (The Arbor, Rita, Sue and Bob Too) and her troubled relationship with her daughter Lorraine. Directed by artist and director Clio Barnard; The Arbor is a captivating and revelatory piece of cinema.

Marathon Boy

Marathon Boy

  • Director:Gemma Atwal
  • Producers:Gemma Atwal, Matt Norman
  • Executive Producers:Alan Hayling, Nick Fraser, Sheila Nevins
  • Production company:One Horse Town, Renegade Pictures (UK) Ltd
  • First shown:7 November 2010; Sheffield Doc/Fest

The story of the youngest marathon runner ever. Following Budhia's roller-coaster journey over five years, Marathon Boy is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption and broken dreams set between the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India. Nothing is what it seems in this riveting story and Atwal continually shifts viewer identification to tell both a shocking story of opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a foster father and a child.

Restrepo

Restrepo

  • Director/producers:Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
  • Executive Producers:John Battsek, Nick Quested
  • Production company:Outpost Films
  • First shown:8 October 2010; Curzon Soho, London

Restrepo chronicles the one-year deployment of a platoon of American soldiers at one of the most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan.

Senna

Senna

  • Director:Asif Kapadia
  • Producers:James Gay-Rees, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Executive Producers:Kevin Macdonald, Manish Pandey, Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin
  • Writer:Manish Pandey
  • Production company:Working Title Films
  • First shown:13 April 2011; Press Screening in London

The film charts Ayrton Senna’s remarkable story, his physical and spiritual achievements on the track and off, his quest for perfection, and the mythical status he has since attained. It spans the racing legend’s years as a Formula One driver, from his opening season in 1984 to his untimely death a decade later.

CTVC Best Newcomer Documentary

Budrus

Budrus

  • Director:Julia Bacha
  • Producers:Ronit Avni, Julia Bacha, Rula Salameh
  • Executive Producers:Ronit Avni, Jehane Noujaim
  • Writer:Julia Bacha
  • Production company:Just Vision Inc
  • First shown:26 September 2010; Empire Cinema Leicester Square, London

Budrus follows a Palestinian community organiser, Ayed Morrar, who unites Palestinian political factions and Israelis in a Gandhian struggle to save his village from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. When his teenage daughter, Iltezam, organises a women’s contingent, they unleash a successful non-violent movement that is still gaining ground today.

My Brother the Islamist

My Brother the Islamist

  • Director:Robb Leech
  • Producer:Ray Tostevin
  • Executive Producers:Simon Ford, Clare Paterson
  • Writer:Robb Leech
  • Production company:Grace Productions
  • First shown:4 April 2011; BBC Three

Tree surgeon turned filmmaker Robb Leech is desperate to know why his white middle-class step-brother Rich became radical Islamist Salahuddin, who associates with jihadist fundamentalists and believes Britain should be ruled by Sharia law. My Brother the Islamist charts the brothers' relationship, and Robb's attempt to understand Rich’s new extremist life-style. With unique access and filmed over twelve months, the film attracted an extraordinary response on BBC Three, in Spring 2011. Gripping, shocking and emotionally compelling.

Storyville: Afghan Cricket Club: Out of the Ashes

Storyville: Afghan Cricket Club - Out of the Ashes

  • Director/producers:Timothy Albone, Lucy Martens
  • Producers:Leslie Knott, Rachel Wexler
  • Executive Producers:Greg Sanderson, Tom Roberts, Sam Mendes
  • Series Editor:Nick Fraser
  • Production company:Shabash Productions, Bungalow Town Productions
  • First shown:7 February 2011; BBC Four

Against a back drop of war and poverty Afghan Cricket Club: Out of the Ashes traces the extraordinary journey of a team of young Afghan men as they chase a seemingly impossible dream, shedding light on a nation beyond burqas, bombs, drugs and devastation.

Innocent!

Storyville: Innocent! Paco & the Struggle for Justice

  • Director:Michael Collins
  • Producers:Marty Syjuco, Jo Lapping
  • Executive Producer:Nick Fraser
  • Production company:Thoughtful Robot Productions
  • First shown:6 April 2011; BBC Four

Set amidst old world vestiges of colonialism, classism and backdoor politics in the Philippines, Innocent! Paco & the Struggle for Justice rivetingly exposes a Kafkaesque contemporary world of corruption and injustice. In a murder case that ends a nation's use of capital punishment, but fails to free an innocent man, two grieving mothers personify the chasms, both nightmarish in scope, that divide two families and, by extension, a nation.

Sky Arts Best Student Documentary

Caring for Calum

Caring for Calum

  • Director/Producer:Lou McLoughlan
  • Producer:Lauren Fox
  • Executive Producer:Emma Davie
  • Institution:Edinburgh College of Art
  • First shown:23 February 2011; Glasgow Film Festival

A middle aged man returns to his Highland home, after years in exile, bringing with him a complex past that threatens his ambition to look after his father. As 92 year old Calum enjoys the care and boisterous humour of a shared home with his son, a tragedy in Uisdean’s past re-surfaces, leaving the role of carer to lapp back and forth between them, with the loch tides".

Noctuaries

Noctuaries

  • Director/producer:Olivia Humphreys
  • Institution:Goldsmiths, University of London
  • First shown:11 January 2011; London Short Film Festival

In the ten years since my mother's death, my family and I have had frequent, vivid and profoundly moving dreams about her. Noctuaries looks at how each of us has responded to these dreams, and how they have formed part of our grieving.

Small Protests

Small Protests

  • Director/producer:Zillah Bowes
  • Institution:National Film & Television School
  • First shown:3 November 2010; Sheffield Doc/Fest

With nothing but a toothbrush in his back pocket, 19 year old Rabbit decides to change the world one protest at a time.

Vince and Cherry’s Greatest Hits

Vince and Cherry’s Greatest Hits

  • Director/producers:Lucy Liddell, Sam Smith-Higgins, Ezra Byrne
  • Institution:Newport Film School
  • First shown:10 December 2010; Newport Film School

Vince and Cherry had it all - music and fame. They also had booze and fights. Then god told them to stop and build a church in the south Wales Valleys. They did as they were told - but no one comes.

Like us

© 2018 The Grierson Trust. All rights reserved.