Director, writer and producer Asif Kapadia is to be honoured with the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award at the 2020 British Documentary Awards.

Asif Kapadia’s films have won an Oscar, five BAFTAs, a European Film Award, Sundance and Grammy Awards as well as a Grierson for Best Arts Documentary for his landmark, Amy. This was one of three documentaries in his acclaimed trilogy Amy, Senna and Diego Maradona, focusing on the rise and fall of child geniuses and the price of fame.

Announcing the Trustees’ Award, Chairman of The Grierson Trust, Lorraine Heggessey says: “The genius of Asif is that he manages to really get under the skin of his subjects, drawing viewers in and making you feel like you know them personally but with such a sophisticated use of archive footage to paint them anew. His works are a masterclass in the subtle art of slowly peeling away the layers until their inner soul is laid bare. As a result, his films aren’t just a hit with reviewers, but audiences too – making him Britain’s biggest box-office-breaking documentarian. Not content with having invented his own genre of documentary, Asif continues to innovate and challenge himself as evidenced in his current exploration of XR with his next project, Laika. We have always considered The Grierson Trustees’ award as recognition of a filmmaker’s continued excellence and outstanding contribution to documentary. Asif Kapadia is at the height of his creative powers and we wait with great anticipation to see where he will take us and viewers next.”

Long term friend, colleague, and Home’s Artistic Director for Film and Culture, Jason Wood said: “I can think of few people more deserving than the honour of receiving the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award than my friend Asif Kapadia. A filmmaker who works across both factual and fictional filmmaking, he has undoubtedly made a huge contribution to documentary filmmaking as both an art form and as a way of attracting new and diverse audiences. Beyond Asif’s undeniable talents as a director, he is also incredibly supportive of the arts, giving his time, advice and support freely. He is also offers proof and hope that success for working-class filmmakers of colour is an attainable goal. He is truly an inspiration.”

In a departure for 2020, The British Documentary Awards ceremony is going digital for the first time. Comedian and writer, Sara Pascoe will be presenting from the studio and the ceremony will be broadcast on YouTube in conjunction with digital partners Little Dot Studios.

In receiving the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award, Kapadia follows in the  footsteps of previous Trustees’ Award winners including Dorothy Byrne, Sir Trevor MacDonald OBE, Alastair Fothergill, Louis Theroux, Sir David Attenborough, John Battsek, Molly Dineen, Nick Fraser, Alex Graham, Kim Longinotto, Kevin MacDonald, Norma Percy, John Pilger and Penny Woolcock.

To watch the awards, tune in to The Grierson Trust’s new YouTube channel at 7pm on Thursday 12th November. Sign up now for reminders.

Jon Creamer

Share this story

Share Televisual stories within your social media posts.
Be inclusive: is open access without the need to register.
Anyone and everyone can access this post with minimum fuss.