The Grierson Awards 2018: Winners

See the photos for the awards ceremony 2018.



Envy Best Single Documentary - Domestic

Kingdom of Us

  • Director: Lucy Cohen
  • Producers: Julia Nottingham, Thomas Benski, Lucas Ochoa, Bill Rudgard
  • Co-producer: Alistair Payne-James
  • Executive Producers: Mary Burke, Marisa Clifford, Celine Haddad, Fergus Haycock, Sam Sniderman, Steve Warr
  • Editors: Michael Aaglund, Stephen Haren, Maya Maffioli
  • Production Co: Pulse Films, In association with Raw Cut
  • First shown: 7 October 2017; General theatrical release

In her quietly watchful debut, Lucy Cohen impresses with a delicate, powerfully effective exploration of grief, identity and family bonds. For over three years, Lucy Cohen filmed a mother and her seven children who lost their father to suicide. Incorporating family archive and observational footage and capturing the landscape around their home, Kingdom of Us records the siblings' emotional recovery, as they piece together their broken past and contemplate their fears and aspirations for their future.

Channel 4 Best Single Documentary - International

Storyville: The Work - Four Days to Redemption

  • Directors: Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous
  • Producers: Alice Henty, Eon McLeary, Miles McLeary
  • Executive Producers: James McLeary, Rob Albee, Gethin Aldus
  • Editor: Amy Foote
  • Production Co: Blanketfort Media
  • First shown: 26 October 2017; BBC Four

Set entirely inside Folsom State Prison, The Work: Four Days to Redemption follows three men during four days of intensive group-therapy with convicts, revealing an intimate and powerful portrait of authentic human transformation that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.

Highly Commended:


  • Director: Bryan Fogel
  • Producers: Dan Cogen, Bryan Fogel, David Fialkow, Jim Schwartz
  • Executive Producers: Maiken Baird, Teddy Leifer, Timothy Rode, Barbara & Eric Dobkin, Craig Sims, Angus Wall, Linda Carlson
  • Editors: Jon Bertain, Kevin Klauber, Timothy Rode
  • Production Co: Impact Partners, Diamond Docs, Chicago Media Project & Alex Productions
  • First shown: 4 August 2017; Netflix

In the audacious documentary Icarus, director Bryan Fogel’s bold gambit was this: to investigate doping in sports, Fogel (an amateur bike racer) would dope himself, observe the changes in his performance, and see if he could evade detection. In doing so, he was connected to a renegade Russian scientist, Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, a pillar of his country's ‘anti-doping’ programme.

Getty Images Best Current Affairs Documentary

Panorama: Undercover - Britain's Immigration Secrets

  • Undercover Reporter: Callum Tulley
  • Director/Producer: Joe Plomin
  • Executive Producer: Karen Wightman
  • Film Editor: Gary Beelders
  • Production Co: BBC Current Affairs
  • First shown: 4 September 2017; BBC One

On the front line of the fight to control immigration, BBC Panorama goes undercover in an Immigration Removal Centre and reveals chaos, incompetence and abuse. The centre is a staging post for detainees who face deportation from the UK. The covert footage, recorded by a detainee custody officer, reveals widespread self-harm and attempted suicides in a centre where drugs, particularly the synthetic cannabis substitute spice, are rife.

Highly Commended:

The Fight for Mosul

  • Directors: Olivier Sarbil, James Jones
  • Producer: Dan Edge
  • Executive Producer: Raney Aronson-Rath
  • Editor: Ella Newton
  • Production Co: Mongoose Pictures
  • First shown: 7 November 2017; Channel 4

With astonishing cinematography by Olivier Sarbil, the story of the fight to re-take Mosul after more than two years of ISIS rule.

Filmed over the course of the whole campaign, the film follows the experiences of four young soldiers. By the end of the campaign, more than half of the team have been killed or injured.

StormHD Best Arts or Music Documentary

Leonora Carrington - The Lost Surrealist

  • Director: Teresa Griffiths
  • Producer: Rachel Hooper
  • Executive Producer: Angus Macqueen
  • Animator: Kris Kelly
  • Editor: Adam Finch
  • Production Co: Erica Starling Productions & Ronachan Films
  • First shown: 10 December 2017; BBC Four

British surrealist Leonora Carrington was a key part of the surrealist movement during its heyday in Paris and yet, until recently, remained a virtual unknown in the country of her birth. This film explores her dramatic evolution from British debutante to artist in exile, living out her days in Mexico City, and takes us on a journey into her darkly strange and cinematic world.

Best Historical Documentary

Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation - The Loss of Joy

  • Director: James Rogan
  • Producer: Jess Winteringham
  • Executive Producers: James Gay-Rees, Asif Kapadia
  • Series Producer: Victoria Musguin-Rowe
  • Editors: Brett Irwin, Simon Barker
  • Production Co: On The Corner Films in association with Rogan Productions
  • First shown: 17 April 2018; BBC One

This landmark documentary series examines one of the most notorious cases of 20th century Britain, the murder of 18-year-old black student, Stephen Lawrence by a group of white teenage boys. What ensued was one of the longest, most complex and mishandled murder investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police; allowing the suspected killers to evade justice for nearly two decades.

Highly Commended:

A House Through Time - Episode 2

  • Director/Producer: Stuart Elliott
  • Edit Producer: Naomi Benson
  • Executive Producer: Maxine Watson
  • Series Producer: Mary Crisp
  • Production Co: Twenty Twenty
  • First shown: 11 January 2018; BBC Two

A House Through Time is a four-part history series telling the story of one house in Liverpool. Using first hand testimony and careful detective work, it follows the fortunes of the house and its residents from the early 19th century until today. In this episode, presenter David Olusoga explores the house’s history in the late 1800s, discovering a story of violence and divorce which eventually leads to a mystery man found drowned in the Mersey.

Sargent-Disc Best Science Documentary

Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me

  • Director: Charlie Russell
  • Producer: Lizzie Kempton
  • Executive Producer: Tom Barry
  • Editor: William Grayburn
  • Production Co: Raw TV
  • First shown: 17 October 2017; BBC Two

For most of his life, broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham didn’t tell anyone about the one thing that in many ways has defined his entire existence. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, which means he struggles in social situations, has difficulty with human relationships, experiences sensory overload, and is, by his own admission, “a little bit weird”. In this film Chris invites us inside his autistic world to try to show what it’s really like being him.

Highly Commended:

Natural World: Attenborough's Wonder of Eggs

  • Director/Producers: Mike Birkhead, Beth Jones
  • Executive Producers: Roger Webb, Fred Kaufman
  • Editor: Richard Wilkinson
  • Production Co: Mike Birkhead Associates
  • First shown: 31 March 2018; BBC Two

David Attenborough has a passion for birds’ eggs. These remarkable structures nurture new life; protecting it from the outside world yet still allowing it to breathe. They’re strong enough to withstand the weight of an incubating parent and weak enough to allow a chick to break free. But how is an egg made? Why the shape? Why lay an egg at all? Piece by piece, from creation to hatching, David reveals the wonder of eggs.

Best Natural History Documentary

H is for Hawk: A New Chapter

  • Director/Producers: Mike Birkhead, Beth Jones
  • Executive Producers: Roger Webb, Fred Kaufman
  • Editor: Nigel Buck
  • Production Co: Mike Birkhead Associates
  • First shown: 19 October 2017; BBC Two

Following the success of Helen Macdonald’s bestselling novel of the same name, H is for Hawk: A New Chapter is an intimate and personal journey. After the loss of her father Helen trained the hardest bird in falconry, a goshawk. The cathartic experience helped her to grieve. In this beautiful and moving film, Helen trains a new bird and follows a wild goshawk family.

Highly Commended:

Blue Planet II: One Ocean

  • Director/Producers: Production Team
  • Production Co: BBC Studios - Natural History Unit
  • First shown: 29 October 2017; BBC One

From the equator to the Poles, One Ocean reveals new worlds and animal behaviours. From tool-using fish to mother walrus fighting for space on the ice for their tiring pups.

Nyman Libson Paul Best Entertaining Documentary

Celebrity Hunted - Episode 1

  • Director/Producers: Production Team
  • Production Co: Shine
  • First shown: 10 October 2017; Channel 4

Channel 4’s hit factual thriller, Celebrity Hunted, sees seven famous faces turn fugitive and attempt to evade capture in a nail-biting manhunt covering the length and breadth of the UK; tracking them down, an elite team of hunters, armed with the powers of the state.

Netflix Best Documentary Series

Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation

  • Director: James Rogan
  • Producer: Jess Winteringham
  • Executive Producers: James Gay-Rees, Asif Kapadia
  • Series Producer: Victoria Musguin-Rowe
  • Editors: Brett Irwin, Simon Barker
  • Production Co: On The Corner Films in association with Rogan Productions
  • First shown: 17 April 2018; BBC One

This landmark three-part documentary plunges viewers into the story of Britain’s most notorious racist murder. 25 years ago, a black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered at a bus stop. Failures in the police investigation meant the killers walked free. This is the definitive account - told with unprecedented access to all sides - of a loving family, and a grieving mother, who simply would not take ‘no’ for an answer, who took on the establishment.

Best Constructed Documentary Series

Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds

  • Director: Benjamin Leigh
  • Executive Producers: Trish Powell, Murray Boland, Danielle Lux
  • Series Producer: Benjamin Leigh
  • Editor: Belle Borgeaud
  • Production Co: CPL Productions
  • First shown: 1 August 2017; Channel 4

Ten four-year-olds are about to meet some unusual classmates. For six weeks they will share their classroom with 11 pensioners. In an ambitious experiment - led by three geriatric specialists - the young and older group will follow the same timetable in a nursery created within a retirement home. This is the first time in the UK that an intergenerational experiment has set out to measure the impact on the health and happiness of the older group.

BFI Doc Society Fund Best Cinema Documentary

The Work

  • Directors: Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous
  • Producers: Alice Henty, Eon McLeary, Miles McLeary
  • Executive Producers: James McLeary, Rob Albee, Gethin Aldus
  • Editor: Amy Foote
  • Production Co: Blanketfort Media
  • First shown: 8 September 2017; General theatrical release

Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men from the outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts. Over the four days, each man in the room takes his turn at delving deep into his past. The raw and revealing process that the incarcerated men undertake exceeds the expectations of the free men, ripping them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to see themselves and the prisoners in unexpected ways. The Work offers a powerful and rare look past the cinder block walls, steel doors and the dehumanising tropes in our culture to reveal a movement of change and redemption that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.

Docsville Best Documentary Short


  • Director: Matt Houghton
  • Producers: Alistair Payne-James, Rupert Williams
  • Executive Producer: James Sorton
  • Editor: Matt Houghton, Maya Maffioli
  • Production Co: Pulse Films & Fee Fie Foe
  • First shown: 24 March 2018; BFI Flair

Landline is a short documentary about the only helpline in the UK for gay farmers. Through a series of recorded telephone conversations and reconstructive visuals, the film uses the helpline as a lens through which to view the experiences of LGBTQ people in the British farming community. Candid, intimate and shocking, Landline is a snapshot of a group of people bound together by circumstance but so often disconnected from each other.

Highly Commended:


  • Director/Producer: Jayisha Patel
  • Editor: Mdhamiri Nkemi
  • Production Co: Jayisha Patel Films & National Film and Television School
  • First shown: 1 March 2018; University/College screening

Circle is a haunting portrait of a rape survivor, caught in the devious ploys of her grandmother, who orchestrated her rape.

Through the personal story of 13-year-old Khushbu, Circle explores where this circle of abuse can begin. And whether, there can be any release.

With astonishing access, and crafted with the artistry of a narrative film, Circle is a moving and poetic contemplation of the human spirit , at the darkest hour.

All3Media Best Student Documentary

Fake News Fairytale

  • Director: Kate Stonehill
  • Production Co: National Film and Television School
  • First shown: 1 March 2018; University/College screening

Fake News Fairytale takes us to the unlikely epicentre of fake news: Veles, Macedonia.

In Veles, since the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, teenagers have been creating fake news stories that generate thousands of hits on social media. These young entrepreneurs have made money off of advertising revenue generated from their fake stories going viral, introducing a ‘digital gold rush’ to Veles.

Warner Bros. Television Production Best Documentary Presenter

PATRICK KIELTY for My Dad, the Peace Deal and Me

  • Production Co: Dragonfly Film and Television
  • First shown: 4 April 2018; BBC One

When Patrick Kielty was sixteen, his father was killed by paramilitary gunmen. Now he returns home to explore the legacy of Northern Ireland’s peace deal, twenty years on. He confronts perpetrators of violence on both sides of the divide, and meets others whose lives were shattered by conflict. With Brexit and the collapse of power-sharing putting the Good Friday Agreement back into the spotlight, Patrick asks how far Northern Ireland has come on the road to reconciliation.

Highly Commended:

PROFESSOR GREEN for Working Class White Men

  • Production Co: Swan Films
  • First shown: 9 January 2018; Channel 4

In Britain today many working class white men feel demonised, forgotten and angry. Over a period of six months Professor Green follows six working class white men in different parts of the country to understand the challenges and barriers these men face in education, work, family life and in the way the rest of society regards them.

BBC Trustees' Award

Sir Trevor McDonald

Sir Trevor McDonald

Sir Trevor has made an indelible mark on the documentary genre with his ability to draw out contributors from the most heinous to the most vulnerable. His appeal stretches across audiences, including broadcasters' much coveted younger viewers, harnessing his years in the thrum of current affairs, his journalistic prowess and his interviewing talent to create films that take viewers into worlds rarely seen on screen.

Recognised the world over as the face and voice of ITN's news bulletins and interviewer of the great and the good, Sir Trevor presented his first documentary in 2009 - The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald followed by The Mighty Mississippi and has since gone on to make more than a dozen more including Inside Death Row, Women Behind Bars, The Mafia and Mafia Women, An Hour to Catch A Killer, James Bulger: A Mother’s Story and Martin Luther King.

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