documentaries

Channel 4 wins big at the Grierson Awards

Grayson Perry at the Grierson Awards

Channel 4 swept the boards at last night’s Grierson Awards, which celebrate documentaries that have made a significant contribution to the form.

RTS award-winner Grayson Perry was crowned Documentary Presenter of the Year for his Channel 4 series Who Are You? with Grierson Trust chairman Lorraine Heggessey calling Perry a national treasure who “is an interviewer who gets under the skin of his subjects and an artist who captures their essence.”

So you want to work in observational documentaries?

Havana Marking, Peter Beard, Lizzie Kempton and Peter Dale (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
At an RTS Futures event in early November, National Film and Television School head of documentaries  Peter Dale chaired a debate on what it takes to be a great observational documentary film-maker. 

One of the panel, Lizzie Kempton, was the assistant producer on the Grierson Award-winning BBC Two film, How to Die: Simon’s Choice, which tells the story of a man with an aggressive form of motor neurone disease who chooses to end his life.

SO YOU WANT TO WORK IN OBSERVATIONAL DOCUMENTARIES...?

He’ll be joined by some of the top filmmakers in the country including Peter Beard of Story Films whose 2015 film My Son The Jihadi  won a Bafta for best Documentary and whose other work includes landmark series 24 Hours in A&E24 Hours in Police Custody, and Kids on The Edge and  Havana Marking, Sundance winning director of Smash and Grab and Afghan Star and Executive Producer of O

How to make great TV according to Louis Theroux

Louis Theroux (Credit: BBC)

“I was not a conventional presence,” says the documentary maker, who is now entering his 24th year in television with over 50 films under his belt.

His opportunity came in 1994, when he joined Michael Moore’s series TV Nation. “I went into the interview with Michael saying ‘I’ll do anything’ and I genuinely meant it: writing researching or doing anything.”

That is his first tip for tomorrow’s Therouxs: focus on making good TV.

Channel 4 Factual get into drama with Shamed

Shamed (w/t), which stars Game of Thrones actress Faye Marsay, centres around the cool and calm Sarah Ivy, whose world collapsed around her 10 years previously.

With the help of her brother she kidnaps two men, Nathan (Nick Blood - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and Mani. The duo claim not to know Sarah or what she would want with them, however a connection is soon revealed...

BBC unveils slate of new documentaries

Clare Sillery, head of documentary commissioning at the BBC, has unveiled a wide-reaching range of shows from acclaimed producers, directors and filmmakers.

Celebrating a “fantastic year” for BBC documentaries, which saw BBC Two’s Exodus: Our Journey to Europe win the RTS Programme Award for Documentary Series, Sillery promised that the new slate of programmes would continue to “demonstrate the ongoing ambition of documentaries at the BBC to speak to the now.”