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Grierson Trust announces final awards nominees

The Grierson Trust has announced the final 40 documentary films that are in with a chance to win the Grierson 2012: British Documentary Awards.

Assisted suicide, abuse in care, obsessive hoarders, life in an Essex comprehensive, the moral dilemma of World War Two and our frozen planet, are just a few of the diverse subjects covered in the 40 films which have made the final cut.

The Grierson Awards are considered the most prestigious awards in the documentary world, celebrating the best in documentary film-making. A wide spread of broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Al Jazeera and National Geographic, is represented in the line-up, offering us the unknown, the renowned and infamous documentaries of the past year. The BBC can already call itself a winner, this broadcaster is nominated with no less than 22 films.

The winners will be revealed at a ceremony to be held at the Empire Leicester Square on 6 November.

The judging panel for each category is made up of a mix of industry experts, film-makers, channel commissioners, genre experts and well known faces from across cinema and television. This year’s jurors include presenters Julia Bradbury, Louis Theroux, Claudia Winkleman, Ross Kemp, Tim Marlow and Reggie Yates; film-makers, Asif Kapadia, Nick Kent and Jesie Versluys; as well as former Grierson winners and nominees Bruce Goodison, Tony Palmer, and David Clews.

Chairman of the Grierson Trust, Dawn Airey said: “The nominations in this 40th anniversary year, as always, represent the very best films from the UK and around the world and the coveted awards are as hotly contended as ever. We are delighted to be celebrating the finest documentary making as well as championing emerging talent.”

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Deluxe 142 Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic

My Child the Rioter – by Olly Lambert; first shown: BBC Two

Panorama: Undercover Care – The Abuse Exposed – by Joe Plomin for BBC Productions; first shown: BBC One

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die – by Charlie Russell for Keo North; first shown: BBC Two

We Need to Talk About Dad – by Elizabeth Stopford for Rare Day; first shown: Channel 4

Shell Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – International

Baka – A Cry from the Rainforest – by Phil Agland for River Films; first shown: BBC Two

Children of the Tsunami – by Dan Reed for Renegade Pictures (UK) Ltd; first shown: BBC Two

Hell and Back Again – by Danfung Dennis for Roast Beef Productions; first shown: More 4

The Life and Loss of Karen Woo – by Ursula Macfarlane for Century Films; first shown: ITV1

The Open University Best Arts Documentary

The Camera That Changed the World – by Mandy Chang for Lambent Productions; first shown: BBC Four

Culture Show: Jeremy Deller Special – by Jack Cocker for BBC Scotland; first shown: BBC Two

Lucien Freud: Painted Life – by Randall Wright for Blakeway Productions; first shown: BBC Two

Rostropovich: The Genius of the Cello – by John Bridcut for ITN Productions; first shown: BBC Four

ITN Source Best Historical Documentary

Double Agent: The Eddie Chapman Story – by Stephen Walker for Walker George Films; first shown: BBC Two

Fight to Save the World: Sergio – by Greg Barker for Passion Pictures, Silverbridge; first shown: BBC Four

The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story – by Sam Hobkinson for Oxford Film and Television; first shown: BBC Four

World War Two: 1941 and the Man of Steel – by Russell Barnes for Barnes Hassid Productions; first shown: BBC Four

Best Science Documentary

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay – by Fred Hepburn, Dani Carlaw for BBC Scotland; first shown: BBC Four

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space Odyssey – by Jonathan Sahula, Graham Judd, Sabin Streeter; first shown: National Geographic

Frontline Medicine: Survival – by Paul Overton for BBC Scotland; first shown: BBC Two

My Life as a Turkey – by David Allen for Passion Pictures; first shown: BBC Two

Most Entertaining Documentary

The Bengali Detective – by Phil Cox for Native Voice Films; first shown: Cambridge Film Festival

A Hasidic Guide to Love, Marriage and Finding a Bride – by Paddy Wivell; first shown: BBC Two

Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder – by Christian Trumble for RDF Television; first shown: Channel 4

Rich Hall’s Continental Drifters – by Chris Cottam, Rich Hall for Open Mike Productions; first shown: BBC Four

Envy Best Documentary Series

Educating Essex – by David Clews for TwoFour Productions; first shown: Channel 4

Frozen Planet – by Vanessa Berlowitz for BBC Natural History Unit; first shown: BBC One

Our War – by Bruce Goodison, John Douglas, Stuart Bernard for BBC Productions; first shown: BBC Three

Protecting Our Children – by Sacha Mirzoeff, Emma Burman for BBC Productions; first shown: BBC Two

DocHouse and The Bertha Foundation Best Cinema Documentary

Bobby Fischer Against the World – Liz Garbus for Moxie Firecracker Films; first shown: General theatrical release

Dreams of a Life – Carol Morley for Cannon and Morley Productions, Soho Moon; first shown: General theatrical release

Knuckle – Ian Palmer for Rise Productions; first shown: General theatrical release

Project Nim – James Marsh for Red Box Films, Passion Pictures, BBC Films; first shown: General theatrical release

CTVC Best Newcomer Documentary

Barbaric Genius – Paul Duane for Screenworks; first shown: Chapter & Verse Festival, The Bluecoat, Liverpool

Gypsy Blood – Leo Maguire for ClearStory; first shown: Channel 4

Panorama: The Truth about Adoption – Clare Johns for Films of Record; first shown: BBC One

The Sinking of the Concordia: Caught on Camera – Vanessa Colosi for Dragonfly Film & Television Productions; first shown: Channel 4

Sky Arts Best Student Documentary

The Betrayal – by Karen Winthe r for National Film & Television School; first shown: BFI Southbank, London

Kirkcaldy Man – by Julian Schwanitz for Edinburgh College of Art; first shown: Glasgow International Short Film Festival

The Men in White Coats – by Rob Harper for National Film & Television School; first shown: BFI Southbank, London

Mostar – by Sebastian Feehan, Josh Bamford for Newport Film School; first shown: Graduation Screening, Newport Film School

To see the full shortlist as announced at the end of July click here and to see who won at last year’s awards ceremony click here.

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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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