Documentary directors honoured at Grierson Awards

A host of British documentary directors were celebrating last night as the 2012 Grierson Awards winners were announced.

Eleven awards were handed out at Leicester Square’s Empire Cinema in total, with the first trophy going the way of Phil Cox’s The Bengali Detective, which won for Most Entertaining Documentary.

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die took Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic, meaning another win for director Charlie Russell after his BAFTA success earlier this year. Meanwhile After Life: The Strange Science of Decay, directed by Fred Hepburn, was awarded Best Science Documentary.

The Directors UK-sponsored Best Newcomer Documentary went to Gypsy Blood, which meant director Leo Maguire was presented with both the award and membership to this organisation. Directors UK also sponsored Best Student Documentary, meaning a year-long membership for The Betrayal director Karen Winther too.

Liz Garbus found success in the Best Cinema Documentary category, with her film Bobby Fischer Against the World triumphing on the night. Elsewhere, in the Best Historical Documentary award, Sam Hobkinson’s programme The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story was chosen as the recipient.

Jeremy Deller: Middle Class Hero – A Culture Show Special, directed by Jack Cocker, took Best Arts Documentary, whilst Danfung Dennis’s Hell and Back Again was awarded Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – International. The last programme award of the night went to co-directors Sacha Mirzoeff and Emma Burman for their film Protecting Our Children, which led the field in the Best Documentary Series category.

Finally, this year’s Grierson Trustees’ Award went to Kevin Macdonald (pictured, left). Kevin had previously won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2000 for his film One Day in September, and the BAFTA for Best British Film for Touching the Void in 2004. He was also nominated for the Grierson Best Cinema Documentary for Marley.

Directors UK would like to congratulate all our members who won awards at last night’s ceremony, and welcome Karen Winther and Leo Maguire as members.