The Grierson Awards 2017: Winners

See the photos for the awards ceremony 2017.



Splice Best Single Documentary - Domestic



  • Director/Producer: Daniel Gordon
  • Executive Producer: John Battsek
  • Editor: Andy R Worboys
  • Production Co: Very Much So Productions & Passion Pictures
  • First shown: 8 May 2016; BBC Two

Hillsborough is an in-depth, moving account of Britain’s worst sporting disaster in which 96 men, women and children were killed, hundreds injured and thousands traumatised - and recounts the 27-year campaign for justice fought on behalf of the 96 who died.

Channel 4 Best Single Documentary - International



  • Director: Rahul Jain
  • Producers: Rahul Jain, Iikka Vehkalahti, Thanassis Karathanos
  • Editors: Rahul Jain, Yaël Bitton
  • Production Co: Jann Pictures, IV Films & Pallas FIlms
  • First shown: 22 April 2017; Frames of Representation, ICA

A visually compelling look behind the doors of a textile factory in India, exploring the meaning of modern day labour, exploitation and the human cost of mass production in our globalized world

The Open University Best Current Affairs Documentary

Goodbye Aleppo

Goodbye Aleppo

  • Director/Producer: Christine Garabedian
  • Executive Producer: Marc Perkins
  • Editor: Kai Lawrence
  • Production Co: BBC Arabic
  • First shown: 11 April 2017; BBC Arabic

Four young citizen journalists film themselves and each other with small cameras and mobile phones in extremely dangerous and life-threatening situations, trapped, bombarded, and encircled with civilians under siege in East Aleppo as the battle for the Syrian city rages around them in December 2016.

Grant Thornton Best Arts Documentary

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories

  • Director: Nick Willing
  • Producer: Michele Camarda
  • Executive Producers: Liz Hartford, Mark Bell, Kate Townsend
  • Editor: Nick Willing
  • Production Co: Kismet Film Company
  • First shown: 25 March 2017; BBC Two

A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, the filmmaker Nick Willing. Notoriously private and guarded, Rego opens up for the first time surprising her son with secrets and stories of her unique life, battling fascism, a misogynistic art world and manic depression.

Televisual Best Historical Documentary



  • Director: Ava DuVernay
  • Producers: Ava DuVernay, Howard Barish, Spencer Averick
  • Executive Producers: Angus Wall, Jason Sterman
  • Editor: Spencer Averick
  • Production Co: Forward Movement LLC & Kandoo Films
  • First shown: 7 October 2016; Netflix

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads ”Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity.

Sargent-Disc Best Science Documentary

Forces of Nature with Brian Cox: Episode 2, Somewhere in Spacetime

  • Director/Producer: Stephen Cooter
  • Executive Producer: Andrew Cohen
  • Series Producer: Danielle Peck
  • Production Co: BBC Studios with PBS co-produced by France Télévisions
  • First shown: 19 January 2017; BBC One

Forces of Nature with Brian Cox reveals how Earth’s infinite beauty and complexity is created by a handful of physical forces. Brian weaves stories of human and animal daring with answers to questions about how our planet works - including why is the Earth round; why are our oceans blue and why are there two tides each day? By answering these simple questions Brian reveals some fundamental truths about the way the entire cosmos works.

Isle of Media Best Natural History Documentary

Wild Ireland: The Edge of the World - Episode 1

  • Directors: John Murray, Cepa Giblin
  • Producer: John Murray
  • Series Producer: John Murray
  • Editor: Jamie Fitzpatrick
  • Production Co: Crossing the Line Productions
  • First shown: 17 March 2017; BBC Two

A unique personal journey along one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world featuring the wildlife and wild places that make it so special. Emmy award-winning wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson takes viewers on an authored odyssey along Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast - the place he chooses to make his home after 30 years spent shooting some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife films.

Nyman Libson Paul Best Entertaining Documentary

999: What's Your Emergency? - Nobody ever said, ‘When I grow up I want to answer 999 calls’

  • Directors: James Incledon, Sam Barnes, Chris Rowe
  • Producers: Claire Cahill, Ruth Nicklin
  • Executive Producers: David Hodgkinson, Ed Coulthard
  • Series Producer: Jo Abel
  • Editor: Chloe Lambourne
  • Production Co: Blast! Films
  • First shown: 4 July 2016; Channel 4

Set entirely inside one 999 call centre, this film focuses on the heart of the 999 system. It's a place where call handlers, many in their early twenties, deal with life, death and everything in between. We witness their patience, frustration and vital sense of humour as they struggle to answer up to 100 cries for help per shift, and do their best to prioritise increasingly limited resources in a system pushed beyond breaking point.

Envy Best Documentary Series

Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

  • Directors: James Bluemel, Jack MacInnes, Paul Glynn, Robin Barnwell
  • Producers: Itab Azzam, Brigitte Scheffer, Rebecca Stewart
  • Executive Producers: Will Anderson, Andrew Palmer
  • Series Producer: Jane Merkin
  • Editors: Simon Sykes, Sunshine Jackson, Nick Fenton
  • Production Co: Keo Films produced in partnership with The Open University
  • First shown: 11 July 2016; BBC Two

In 2015, more than 1 million migrants and refugees smuggled themselves into Europe. KEO Films gave some of them cameraphones to film the parts of their journeys where regular documentary crews could not go. Told by the migrants themselves, this is the story of the biggest human migration since the Second World War.

Evolutions Best Constructed Documentary Series

Muslims Like Us

  • Directors: Production Team
  • Executive Producer: Kieran Smith
  • Series Producer: Mobeen Azhar
  • Series Editor: Oliver Manley
  • Editors: Nick Packer, Owen Thomas
  • Production Co: Love Productions
  • First shown: 12 December 2016; BBC Two

Britain’s 2.7 million Muslims are united in faith. In Muslim homes across the country, there is on-going discussion about what and who best represents Islam. In this unique and bold experiment witnesses these dilemmas played out for real. 10 British Muslims who represent the diversity of their faith explore how their faith impacts their lives. Topical, important and, at times, charged exchanges shine a light on what it means to be a Muslim in modern Britain.

Bertha DocHouse Best Cinema Documentary


  • Director/Producers: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
  • Executive Producers: Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Lily Fan
  • Editor: Eli Despres
  • Production Co: AWD Films LLC
  • First shown: 8 July 2016: General theatrical release

Many politicians have seen their careers careen off the tracks, but few instances have been captured so completely on film as the incisive and painfully funny Weiner.

Yaddo Best Documentary Short

Fish Story

  • Director: Charlie Lyne
  • Producers: Charlie Lyne, Catherine Bray, Anthony Ing
  • Editor: Charlie Lyne
  • Production Co: Loop
  • First shown: 16 February 2017; First UK screening was at BFI Future Film Fest

Sometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon’s grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. Thirty years later, filmmaker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale.

ITV Best Student Documentary

Acta Non Verba

  • Director: Yvann Yagchi
  • Producer: Fawzia Mahmood
  • Production Co: NFTS
  • First shown: 20 February 2017; University/College screening

On 6 October 2012, at approximately midnight, a Swiss banker, Michel Yagchi, committed suicide in the basement of his house in Geneva. That evening, Michel’s entire family was out of the country, travelling to Brussels to attend the graduation of Michel's eldest son, Yvann. Three years later, Yvann decided to start investigating his father’s mysterious suicide, concurrently confronting his family and his father’s friends and colleagues.

Warner Bros TV Production UK Best Documentary Presenter

GRAYSON PERRY for Grayson Perry: All Man

  • Directors: Neil Crombie, Arthur Cary
  • Executive Producer: Joe Evans
  • Production Co: Swan Films
  • First shown: 5 May 2016; Channel 4

In this series, frock-wearing, mountain-biking, father-of-one Grayson Perry puts himself in three ultra-male worlds to see what their extreme masculinity has to tell us about the changing lives and expectations of all men in Britain today. As ever, he tries to capture what he sees by making art, and then shows that art to the people who inspired it.

BBC Grierson Trustees' Award

Documentary maker, producer, presenter and all round natural history guru, Alastair Fothergill will be honoured with the prestigious BBC Grierson Trustees' Award at the 2017 British Documentary Awards.

At the forefront of natural history programming for over 30 years, Alastair Fothergill is responsible for some of the most impactful and innovative natural history programming lauded the world over.

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