Awards categories

  • Envy Best Single Documentary - Domestic

    A single documentary which deals primarily with UK-based subjects on contemporary themes: e.g., society, business, religion, welfare etc.

    * Single episodes from series will not be eligible but episodes from strands are acceptable, eg Dispatches, etc.

  • Molinare Best Single Documentary - International

    A single documentary which deals primarily with international subjects on contemporary themes: e.g., society, business, religion, welfare etc.

    * Single episodes from series will not be eligible but episodes from strands are acceptable, eg Storyville, Unreported World, etc.

  • Televisual Best Current Affairs Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which focuses on specific news or current affairs events. Entries may cover domestic or international subjects. Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding investigative journalism, access and insights.

  • Storm Best Arts Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, on an arts subject.

  • Sky Documentaries Best Music Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, on a music subject.

  • Best Sports Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which addresses any aspect of sport.

  • Channel 5 Best History Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, on an historical subject.

  • The Open University Best Science Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which addresses any aspect of science or medicine.

  • Discovery Best Natural History or Environmental Documentary

    A single documentary, or an episode from a strand or series, which addresses any aspect of natural history or the environment.

  • YouTube Originals Best Entertaining Documentary

    A single documentary or an episode from a strand or series that sets out primarily to entertain. Judges will be looking for humour, wit, and elegance of style. Entries can be on any subject and in any format, including factual and reality-based programmes.

  • Channel 4 Best Constructed Documentary Series

    An unscripted series, of two or more episodes, that examines the actions or behaviour of individuals within a created format or constructed environment.

    * Entrants must provide a minimum of two episodes from the series for judging.

  • Netflix Best Documentary Series

    A finite series of two or more episodes and with a single overall theme, planned by an individual or a team.

    * Entrants must provide a minimum of two episodes from the series for judging.

  • All3Media Best Student Documentary

    Awarded to a student director for a film made during a UK-based, full-time academic course.

    * All entries must be supported by a description of the course and the contact details of the course tutor.

  • The Rumi Foundation Best Documentary Short

    Awarded to a single documentary with a running time of 25 minutes or less. This can include branded content.

    * Single episodes from series will not be eligible but episodes from strands are acceptable.

  • Best Documentary Presenter

    This award goes to the presenter or presenting team who has made the most outstanding contribution to documentary programming within the qualifying period. Whether in arts, music, religion, history, science, natural history or contemporary theme, the jury is looking for presenters who engage the audience and bring originality of thought, insight, perspective and content to a subject.

    * Entrants should provide a complete programme or episode and entries must be supported by a statement of up to 500 words about why the presenter should be considered for this award.

  • BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award

    For an outstanding contribution to the art or craft of the documentary. The recipient of this award is chosen solely by The Grierson Trust at its discretion.

  • The Talent Manager Grierson Hero of the Year Award

    Awarded to an individual who has made a positive impact within the industry during the awards eligibility period. They can be a person working in any area behind-the-scnees, and be at any level of their career. The award is given in recognition of someone who has gone the extra mile and made an outstanding difference. There is no entry fee for this award and the recipient will be decided by board members of The Grierson Trust. The deadline is Friday, 4 September, nominate someone today.

The Grierson Trust Board of Trustees has taken the decision to pause the Best Cinema Documentary category for 2021. The main criteria for the category stated that a documentary film should have had a UK theatrical run of at least seven days. With cinemas closed for much of the June 2020 – May 2021 eligibility period thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board concluded that any feature films that would have entered this category another time would be eligible for other Grierson Awards categories this year. We hope that the Best Cinema Documentary category will return for 2022.

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