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The Grierson Trust has awarded special awards to Candour Productions founder and documentary-maker Anna Hall and campaigning group Deaf & Disabled People in TV (DDPTV).

Hall will receive the Grierson Trustees’ Award at this year’s ceremony, in honour of her outstanding contribution to the art and craft of documentary.

The seven times Bafta-nominated director won her first award this year for Sky’s Libby, Are You Home Yet?, which is in the running at the Grierson’s in the best documentary series category.

Libby, Are You Home Yet?: Anna Hall won a Bafta for the Sky series, which also has a Grierson nomination

Her other notable documentaries include ITV’s Dunblane: Remembering Our Children, BBC1’s Behind Closed Doors and Channel 4’s The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Gangs.

For her upcoming C4 series The Push, Hall secured access to Edinburgh High Court to follow every minute of a trial into the murder of a pregnant lawyer, with her husband the chief suspect.

Grierson Trust chair Lorraine Heggessey said the award recognises Hall’s “agenda-setting, high-profile documentaries which often challenge established thinking and lead to real change to the everyday lives of individuals and communities.”

Heggessey said Grierson also wanted to acknowledge Hall’s championing of inclusive film-making, particularly for Candour’s commitment to work only with female directors, as well as being a “beacon of out-of-London television production” from the company’s Leeds base.

Last year, the award was given posthumously to Films of Record founder and film-maker Roger Graef.


Meanwhile, DDPTV is the recipient of this year’s Grierson Hero of the Year Award for its efforts to make TV more inclusive for deaf and disabled people.

Run by drama producer Bryony Arnold, BBC assistant commissioner Caroline O’Neill and executive cast and talent producer Charlie Pheby, DDPTV runs a networking forum for 2,000 industry professionals. The trio offer guidance to indies, broadcasters and recruiters to grow and support their talent pools, ensure reasonable adjustments are made for deaf and disabled workers, and work to drive out discrimination.

DDPTV co-directors (left to right): Bryony Arnold, Caroline O'Neill, Charlie Pheby

Grierson Trust managing director Sylvia Bednarz described the group as a real driver for increased inclusivity in our industry, successfully working with broadcasters, streamers, indies and disabled people themselves to help talented, diverse people enter and sustain successful careers in documentary making … alongside their very busy day jobs.”

One anonymous testimonial said the tro had created a “safe space for deaf and disabled people in TV”, adding: “They have put their own time, money, social lives and more on the line to go above and beyond to help people across the UK.”

Another described them as a “force for good” at a difficult time for freelancers. “I don't think I would have stayed in the industry this year without their positive, supportive, humorous and heart-warming group,” they said.

The awards will be bestowed at this year’s Grierson Trust British Documentary Awards on 9 November.

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