Grierson Trust launches alumni support program

The UK-based Grierson Trust will partner with film education charity Into Film to provide a new support initiative for alumni from the trust's filmmaker training program.
June 9, 2014

The UK-based Grierson Trust will partner with film education charity Into Film to provide a new support initiative for alumni from the trust’s filmmaker training program.

The Grierson Trust – which commemorates Scottish documentarian John Grierson – promotes doc and television production through supporting screenings, workshops and mentoring schemes. The new support program will award alumni three-month work placements with leading indies specializing in docs, as well as the chance to attend the Sheffield Doc/Fest.

This year’s participants are Dershe Samaria and Jade Lee, both graduates of the Trust’s DocLab training scheme, which recruits 20 aspiring doc filmmakers from across the UK and gives them access to top filmmakers, prodcos and commissioning editors at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

The program selects participants from socio-economically and culturally diverse backgrounds.

“The Grierson Trust is one of my biggest supporters,” said Samaria, whose two docs were supported by the BFI last year, in a statement. “After years of hard graft, they have provided me with vital stepping stones and access I may not have otherwise had. I truly appreciate and admire their ability to champion diverse voices, which I believe are under-represented in the industry.”

Lorraine Heggessey, chairman of The Grierson Trust, added: “One of the Trust’s core principles is to champion and help ensure the future of the documentary industry. For us, that is about supporting individuals at a grassroots level and looking for new, under-represented voices.

“Over the past three years we have worked with First Light (now Into Film) to seek out young filmmakers with potential and support them in getting onto the first rungs of the industry ladder. In order to make real headway in our industry, we recognize that individuals need long-term support which is why we are now further developing our mentoring scheme,” she said.

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