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Guardian documentary wins Grierson Award

Guardian documentary Lady of the Gobi, directed by Khoroldorj Choijoovanchig and produced with Petite Maison Production, has won in the Best Short Documentary category at the 2023 Grierson Awards.

Guardian documentary wins Grierson Award
Lindsay Poulton: “We are so proud that Lady of the Gobi has been recognised with a Grierson Award!”

The Guardian says The Grierson Awards are amongst the most prestigious awards in documentary filmmaking and recognise documentaries that have made a significant contribution to the genre, demonstrating quality, integrity, creativity, originality and overall excellence.

Lady of the Gobi follows truck driver Maikhuu on Mongolia’s coal superhighway to the Chinese border. Trapped in a hazardous industry, with dreams of a better life for her three children, Maikhuu’s journey reflects the human and environmental costs of Mongolia’s mining boom.

The Greirson Jury said that they felt “transported by the film”, highlighting its “sensitive portrayal of both the strength and fragility of the central character”and “with some extraordinary imagery of a rarefied and remote world, the remarkable access and film’s visual flair left a lasting and powerful impression.”

Khoroldorj Choijoovanchig, director of Lady of the Gobi, said: “As humans, our relentless pursuit of dreams inspires us. This is the essence of my film. Thank you, Maikhuu, for sharing your life and dreams.”

Lindsay Poulton, head of documentaries, Guardian News & Media, said: “We are so proud that Lady of the Gobi has been recognised with a Grierson Award! It is a powerful example of how filmmakers can collaborate across borders to tell urgent contemporary stories with impact. Thank you to a brilliant team, led by the insight and vision of Khoroldorj Choijoovanchig.

“We were also so happy to see With Woman win Best Student Documentary. The National Film and Television School is well known for nurturing emerging talent and we were delighted to collaborate with director Mia Harvey on this important film about African-American traditions in home-birth midwifery.”

The Greirson Jury described With Woman as an “informative and strong documentary” that was “a masterclass in access” featuring “a perfect blend of beauty and rawness that weaved in its own sense of artistry and style”.

Mia Harvey, director of With Woman, said: “We are so grateful for this honour! Capturing the compelling stories of Star and Raven was a profound journey, and this award is a tribute to the unwavering resilience of Black women. We are thankful for the recognition and celebration of their inspiring narratives.”

Lady of the Gobi and With Women are both available to watch on Guardian Documentaries.

The full list of the 2023 Grierson Award winners can be found here.

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