Media Release: Applications now open for the Grierson Trust’s 2017 DocLab training and mentoring scheme


WITH support from the UK’s leading independent factual production companies – and in partnership with Bertha DocHouse – The Grierson Trust’s 2017 DocLab training scheme is now open for applications.

The Grierson DocLab offers financial support for trainees, paid work placements and a dynamic programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring, giving the best opportunity for 18-25 year-olds to gain their first foothold in the documentary industry.

From learning basic camera skills to pitching a concept, this is a chance for 12 aspiring filmmakers to turn their documentary passion into reality.

Century Films, Dragonfly, Lightbox, Renegade Pictures, Pulse, Testimony Films, True North, True Vision and Wall to Wall are all committing their assistance with additional support from Blueberry Media Consultants.

Lorraine Heggessey, chair of The Grierson Trust, said: “With support from across the documentary industry, the Grierson DocLab is one of the best ways for doc-passionate young people to enter the industry.

“DocLab alumni are now working for the nation’s biggest broadcasters and producers as well as developing their own films, projects and ideas with on-going support from their mentors and The Grierson Trust.”

Grierson DocLab 2016 alumna, Amy Sergeant, said: “The Grierson Trust were so helpful to me after finishing university. I started working full-time as a runner/ assistant at a TV production company who make programmes for Channel 4 and Sky. I was also given the chance over the summer to do a paid internship at Bertha DocHouse and I’m hoping to do an internship at Century Films when my current contract ends.”

The Grierson DocLab participants get the support they need to help them towards a successful career in factual programme making.

This starts with a residential training programme in May and continues with access to award-winning industry professionals, structured mentoring support, the chance to attend the internationally recognised Sheffield Doc/Fest, culminating in a paid placement with a production company.

The Trust additionally provides ongoing bespoke support for participants as they progress with their career choice within the sector. This opportunity is for new entrants aged 18-25, and will support a variety of roles behind the camera.

Fellow 2016 alumnus, Robbie Hunter, added: “Few educational experiences are focused on providing real world skills and insights, even fewer can be said to be truly transformative.

“The Grierson DocLab program is special in that it is both. A year ago I was working in a dead-end job, while making my own films for little to no money. I had no idea how to break in to the film and TV industry and at times it seemed impossible.

“The amazing team at The Grierson Trust – believed in me, educated me, and supported me.

“Now I have moved from Glasgow to London and have worked with amazing people on documentary and factual TV shows for BBC, SKY, Channel 4 and Netflix. Being a Grierson trainee, has opened doors and given me the tools to succeed.”

To apply for a place on this year’s Grierson DocLab and Mentoring Scheme, further details and an applications form are available from or at

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Tuesday 4 April 2017.

For more information:

Fiona Williams

Notes to editors:

Application criteria:

Applicants must:

* Be aged between 18-25 at the time of applying

* Be UK residents

* If at college or university be in their final year of study

* Be new entrants (that is have no more than three months worth of work experience)

* They must be available to attend the selection day on Thurs 27 April, in central Birmingham

* Be available to attend all days of the lab (Sunday 21 arriving late afternoon – end of Thursday 25 May)

* Be available to attend the Sheffield Documentary Festival between Friday 9 to Monday 12 June

* Be available for a two-week paid placement at a time to be agreed.


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Contact: Fiona Williams