About us

The Grierson Trust and its work

The Grierson Trust is a registered charity that exists to promote documentary filmmaking and to celebrate the work of John Grierson. Its forerunner, the Grierson Memorial Trust, was founded in 1972.

The Grierson Trust commemorates the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson (1898 – 1972), famous for Drifters and Night Mail and the man widely regarded as the father of documentary. The organisation is responsible for the annual British Documentary Awards - more fondly known as the Griersons - as well as encouraging factual TV talent through its Grierson DocLab training and mentoring schemes.

The Trust’s first two Chairmen, Basil Wright and Edgar Anstey, learned their craft alongside Grierson himself and the third, journalist and media scholar John Chittock, was instrumental in establishing the original Grierson Award. Subsequently Larry Chrisfield (2000 - 2002), Edward Mirzoeff (2002 - 2006), Jenny Barraclough (2006 - 2008), Murray Weston (2008 - 2010), Dawn Airey (2010 - 2013) have all chaired the Trust. The current Chairman, Lorraine Heggessey, took up the reins in 2013.

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