Emmy Nomination for Hillsborough

Documentary about the 1989 stadium disaster derived from Queen's University academic's research

A documentary based on long-term research by Queen’s University Professor Phil Scraton has been nominated for an Emmy, the prestigious American awards that recognise excellence in the television industry.

Short-listed for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Film-making, the two-hour ESPN/BBC documentary, Hillsborough, is derived from Scraton’s research previously published in two influential reports on the disaster and his book, Hillsborough: The Truth.

Scraton led the research for the Hillsborough Independent Panel and was primary author of its report that led to new inquests into the deaths of the 96 men, women and children at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.

He is also heavily involved in the ongoing Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation, and a full criminal inquiry into all the authorities involved.

Hillsborough reflects Scraton’s in depth work into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the disaster, using archival material to expose the background to the disaster, the experiences of those caught up in the immediacy of the tragedy and the authorities’ subsequent responses, including the much-criticised inquests and investigations.

Shown throughout the world and receiving universal positive reviews, Hillsborough cannot be shown in the UK and Europe because of a necessary ruling to avoid contempt of court imposed by the Coroner for the new inquests. Beginning last March, they are expected to run until July 2015.

Speaking about the nomination, Scraton, from Queen’s University’s School of Law, said: 'I worked closely with the film’s director, Dan Gordon, from conception through to the final cut. It was an exceptional achievement to integrate my two decades’ research, the Panel’s findings and newly researched material, interviews and reconstructions.

'Recently in a Liverpool cinema and in closed session the film was shown to families whose loss and survival remain central to all our work. While it is an honour to be so closely associated with an Emmy nomination, the real prize for the film was its moving, overwhelming endorsement by the families.'

Congratulating Professor Scraton, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor, Patrick Johnston, said: 'This is a momentous achievement for Professor Scraton. It is great to see research from Queen’s being recognised on the international stage.

'On behalf of everyone at the University, I congratulate Professor Scraton and the documentary team on their nomination and wish them well for the awards ceremony next month.'

The 2014 Emmy Awards Ceremony will be held on August 25, 2014 at the Nokia Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, California.