Strong Scots showing among Grierson’s winners

A DOCUMENTARY presented by a Scots zoologist and another made by a Scotland-based independent TV production company are among the winners at the annual awards of the UK’s most prestigious documentary competition.

And at the British Documentary Awards – aka the Grierson’s – the duo were joined by a documentary made for BBC Scotland by Glasgow-based Scots director, Jack Cocker.

The Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic award went to ‘Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die’, made by Glasgow-based Keo North. The film followed author, Terry Pratchett, who has Alzheimer’s, flying to Switzerland to join one man in the final moments of his assisted suicide.

Meanwhile, ‘After Life: The Strange Science of Decay’, presented by George McGavin, took the Best Science Documentary title. The programme followed the decay, over time, of a typical household kitchen, which had been installed in a special, 6metre x 6metre sealed box at Edinburgh Zoo.

Cocker’s documentary – about conceptual artist, Jeremy Deller – took the Best Arts Documentary prize.

And as reported last month on, this year’s Grierson’s conferred its Coutts Grierson Trustees’ Award to Oscar-winning Scots filmmaker, Kevin Macdonald.

The 40th British Documentary Awards were staged in London. They are known as the Grierson’s to commemorate the ‘father of documentary filmmaking’: Scot, John Grierson.

The awards were hosted by artist, Grayson Perry (pictured).

The winners list is as follows:

Most Entertaining Documentary

The Bengali Detective

Phil Cox for Native Voice Films; first shown: Cambridge Film Festival

Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die

Charlie Russell for Keo North; first shown: BBC Two

 Best Science Documentary

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay

Fred Hepburn, Dani Carlaw for BBC Scotland; first shown: BBC Four

Best Newcomer Documentary

Gypsy Blood

Leo Maguire for ClearStory; first shown: Channel 4

Best Cinema Documentary

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Liz Garbus for Moxie Firecracker Films; first shown: General theatrical release

Best Historical Documentary

The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story

Sam Hobkinson for Oxford Film and Television; first shown: BBC Four

Best Student Documentary

The Betrayal

Karen Winther for National Film and Television School; first shown: BFI Southbank, London

Best Arts Documentary

Culture Show: Jeremy Deller – Middle Class Hero

Jack Cocker for BBC Scotland; first shown: BBC Two

Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – International

Hell and Back Again

Danfung Dennis for Roast Beef Productions; first shown: More 4

Best Documentary Series

Protecting Our Children

Sacha Mirzoeff, Emma Burman for BBC Productions; first shown: BBC Two

Pic: David Lindsay.