The Grierson Trust

November 2018

Established in 1972 to commemorate pioneering Scottish documentary maker, John Grierson, the Grierson Trust has become one of the world’s foremost supporters of the art of documentary filmmaking.

Grierson, renowned for his work on pioneering documentaries; Drifters (1929) and Night Mail (1936), is widely regarded as the father of the genre. His vision was for film to be seen as a form of social and political communication – a mechanism for social reform, education and spiritual upliftment.


The Grierson Trust supports the next generation of documentary filmmakers through its annual DocLab programme. DocLab aims to prepare budding filmmakers with the necessary skills, industry contacts and support to kick-start their careers in the industry.

The trust also provides paid placements with production companies and ongoing support as the emerging filmmakers progress. Many of the programme’s alumni now work across the industry and are beginning to be recognised for international awards in their own right.


In 2019, The Rumi Foundation is sponsoring the Best Documentary Short category at the British Documentary Awards. The awards, organised by The Grierson Trust and affectionately known as ‘The Griersons’, are regarded as one of the most coveted prizes for documentary filmmakers from around the globe, highlighting a year of ground-breaking work from established and emerging talent.

The Rumi Foundation is proud to support the important work of the Grierson Trust in nurturing a future for young documentary filmmakers and the genre as a force for positive social change and enlightenment.