The Grierson Trust unveils 16 new DocLab trainees

UK-based documentary filmmaking charity The Grierson Trust has named the 16 new trainees taking part in its DocLab training scheme. With a focus on diversity, the stats for this year’s cohorts are ...
July 16, 2020

UK-based documentary filmmaking charity The Grierson Trust has named the 16 new trainees taking part in its DocLab training scheme.

With a focus on diversity, the stats for this year’s cohorts are 44% are BAME; 44% come from areas described as ‘economically deprived;’ and 69% are female, 19% are male and 12% are non-binary. In addition, 75% of the cohorts come from areas outside of London, with 15% from Wales and 10% from Scotland, and 50% were in full-time education when they applied.

The 8th annual scheme will launch next month with a week-long program of online training sessions. Led by Carol Nahra and industry leaders, the trainees will have the opportunity to learn from documentary experts.  

Trainees also receive full festival passes for all Sheffield Doc/Fest events before attending November’s Grierson Awards, completing their shoot/edit training and undertaking work placements into 2021.

“DocLab is about opening up industry doors and effecting change from the bottom up by bringing young people into the industry who wouldn’t normally have access or a way in,” said Lorraine Heggessey, chair of The Grierson Trust, in a statement. “This is a vital element of The Trust’s work in supporting broadcasters and the independent production sector in developing our off-screen talent of the future. Together, we’re laying the groundwork for the future of the industry, increasing the diversity of our teams whether in class, race, geography or gender. We’re determined to help young talent forge their way in the industry, no matter the new challenges that the pandemic throws at us.”

Netflix and The Rank Foundation join a number of factual production companies — including Blast! Films, Dragonfly TV, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Plimsoll Productions, Renegade Pictures and Wise Owl Films/All3 Media — in assisting the DocLab scheme, with additional support from The Rumi Foundation.

“It’s only through training schemes like this — and those who support them — that our industry can correct the historic and systemic imbalance that sadly exists today and that we can ensure that the content we create in future will be made, and commissioned, by those who truly represent the broadest diversity of creative voices in the UK today,” said Lightbox co-founder, Simon Chinn, in a statement.

The 16 successful applicants are named below, with bios supplied by The Grierson Trust.

Ananya Sriram (23, Leeds), recent graduate in French and International Relations from the University of Leeds.

Chandler Pierre (23, London), graduate from Norwich University of the Arts with a BA in Film and Moving Image Production.

Charley Leach (23, Northampton), spent a year in Missouri studying documentary and journalism followed by MA in Broadcast Journalism.

Erin Joan (22, Glasgow), recent graduate from the University of Glasgow with a MA in Film and TV.

Fatima Ali (22, Birmingham), English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick.

Jacob Wood (22, Milford Haven), graduate in Human Geography from Cardiff University.

Jess Gell (25, London), graduate in Film and Television from UAL.

Joe Malamed (25, Manchester) “My love of videography came from the realisation that it can change the world… by pointing a camera in the right place, by shining a light on the unknown and getting different perspectives, you can bring the world together, reveal social issues that lacked attention and can genuinely change the world.”

Kiernan Abbott (22, Aberteifi), graduate from the University of Bristol studying Film and Television

Leonie Rousham (23, London). “My interest in documentary has stemmed from my involvement in activism and community. I first started to understand filmmaking as a tool of political resistance during 2011: documenting the student protests in a monthly photo column for my local newspaper. Having the opportunity to finally turn my interest and self-taught knowledge into something tangible and developed through DocLab is an amazing feeling.”

Lisa Doran (22, Cardiff), graduate from Cardiff School of Journalism.

Montaz Marché (24, Chigwell), recent Masters’ graduate from UCL, researching and uncovering black British women in the 18th century.

Poppy Brown (22, Norfolk), filmmaking graduate from the Northern Film School.

Ramla Dirie (22, Leicester), graduate in English Language and Media and Masters in Investigative Journalism.

Rhianna Bibby (18, Warrington), “Studying creative and digital media in sixth form and taking part in various film programmes has allowed me to realise my goals and interests in this industry. I hope to one day create content that shares stories of humanity and educates people of the world’s uniqueness and inequalities.”

Toni Lee (25, Huddersfield), a Visual Anthropology graduate.

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