Documentary filmmaking charity the Grierson Trust has selected its latest cohort of young filmmakers to participate in the Grierson DocLab mentoring scheme.
The 2019 cohort consists of five men and seven women. Four are from BAME backgrounds, and two are neuro-diverse. They were selected from across the UK, representing Essex, Hertfordshire, Durham, Jarrow, Kent, Suffolk, Glasgow, London, Liverpool and Sutton.
The training and mentoring scheme seeks to make its participants, who are 18-25-year-olds entering the industry, “job ready” through bursary-supported work placements, workshops, masterclasses and mentoring.
It has been running for six years, with support from the Rank Foundation as well as a number of UK factual prodcos, including Arrow Media, Blast! Films, Dragonfly, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Nutopia, Raw TV, Renegade Pictures, Testimony Films, Voltage TV, Wall to Wall and Wise Owl Films, along with Blueberry Creative, Clear Cut Pictures, The Rumi Foundation and The Kit Room.
This year’s cohort is made up of the following 12 successful applicants, with brief bios supplied by the Grierson Trust:
- Toni Arenyeka (25, Orpington, Bromley) is completing her masters in Pharmacy but has juggled that with her first forays into factual entertainment.
- Amy Jean Carlsson (25, London) is Swedish born and moved to London in 2014 to study film-making at the University of the Arts.
- Saskia Deicher (18, Hartley, Kent) studied film in sixth form at school and is now looking to turn her own filmmaking passion into a profession.
- Jenni Herd (21, Glasgow) is about to graduate from her studies in English Literature with Film and Television studies at the University of Glasgow.
- Alex Jones (22, Liverpool) is currently finishing his studies at the University of Liverpool.
- Karl Knights (22 from Leiston, Suffolk) is an autistic journalist with cerebral palsy and ADHD, specializing in disability, representation and culture.
- Emily McNally (24, Jarrow) graduated in English Literature and Language before traveling to Switzerland and France.
- Hugh Memess (23, Welwyn Garden City) graduated in Geology before studying his masters in Environmental Science at Royal Holloway.
- Laura O’Connor (23, Sutton Coldfield) is a graduate from Leeds University where she studied Film, Photography and Media.
- Azeem Rajulawalla (21, Hadleigh, Essex) is in his final year at SOAS, making his first documentary – set in Uganda – as part of his studies.
- Mal Senanayake (24, Durham) originally studied chemistry but then attained his Masters in Film and Television from Birmingham University.
- Dhelia Snoussi (24, London) is a Youth Culture Creator for the Museum of London. Previously she has worked for Voices That Shake! and the Runnymede Trust, having graduated from in South Asian Studies from SOAS.
“DocLab is now in its seventh year and this is our most diverse cohort yet,” said Lorraine Heggessey, chairman for the Grierson Trust, in a statement. “Our trainees are from all kinds of backgrounds, joining us from across the country. DocLab is about opening up the industry and increasing diversity by getting our new entrants job ready for careers in all aspects of factual program-making. And the results are really showing as our alumni are working with broadcasters, new platforms and at indies across the industry.”