The Grierson Trust has named the eight successful applicants for its new Grierson DocLab: Archive Producers programme, in collaboration with Prime Video Pathway.

This new specialist programme has been devised by the Grierson DocLab team to specifically address the increasing shortage of skilled archive producers, at a time when demand for archive-led production is growing. This has been highlighted by the documentary and factual programme-making industry as a particular concern and the programme aims to identify new talent and provide them with training and career opportunities.

The Archive Producers programme is designed to open up access to archive-related jobs in the TV and film industry across the UK. It is based around an intensive training course including a combination of lectures, workshops, and case studies. Each trainee will also have a 10-week paid work placement within a UK production company, working alongside an archive producer on a documentary single or series.

The programme is led by Sam Dwyer, an archive producer with more than 30 years of experience working on high-profile, award-winning films, television, commercials and art projects including High & Low: John Galliano, Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger, The Princess, Whitney, Marley, and The Stone Roses: Made of Stone.

Other trainers and speakers include archive producers such as Kalbir Dhillon (Empire State of Mind), Beatrice Read (Three Identical Strangers), Miriam Walsh (Once Upon a time in Iraq) and James Hunt (Mad About The Boy: The Noel Coward Story), alongside leading directors and producers like Kevin Macdonald (Life in a Day 2020, Whitney) and Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man), together with Prash Naik, co-founder of Creators Counsel which provides specialist content legal advice to TV, film and audio producers internationally.

Production companies who have signed up to provide work placement opportunities include Fulwell 73, KEO Films, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Raw, and Ventureland, with more to be confirmed.

The eight trainees taking part in the scheme are Maia Adelia, Christopher Coulter, Daniel Draper, Shabnam Karimzada, Rowan Lee-Potter, Ella Marsh, Scarlet Moore, and Leonie E Rousham. The training commenced this week online, with a residential programme and the work placements and mentorship matches still to come.

Sylvia Bednarz, Managing Director, The Grierson Trust said “One of the main issues brought up during our regular discussions with programme makers has been the increasing shortage of skilled archive producers in the UK, coupled with increasing demand for archive-led productions. The Grierson DocLab specialist programmes were created to identify new talent and build career opportunities in collaboration with the industry to address skills gaps just like this, so we’re thrilled to be working Prime Video Pathway to provide this new training opportunity.”

Alumni of Grierson DocLab programmes have gone onto work at production companies and studios including Rogan Productions, Zinc Media, Ventureland, Box to Box, Dorothy Street Pictures, The Garden, Voltage TV, RAW, Minnow, Nutopia, Noah Media, Label1, Mindhouse, Curious Films, Studio Lambert, Candour Films, Forest, and 72 Films, as well as on Grierson Award-winning documentaries including BBC Studios’ Inside Our Autistic Minds from the 2023 awards and BBC Storyville’s Locked In: Breaking the Silence in 2020.

Pippa Considine

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