Scottish Documentary Institute enjoys success in 2012
SDI is a research centre at Edinburgh College of Art dedicated to production, distribution and training in documentary. The team has enjoyed enormous success in 2012 with their feature and short films premiering worldwide, winning numerous awards and The Perfect Fit has even been Oscar ® shortlisted for 2013.
2012 highlights include:
Finlay Pretsell and Adrian McDowall’s Cutting Loose kicked off the year with a win at the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival Australia in January, collecting the Flickerfest Award for Best Documentary. The film has since gone on to receive a host of awards throughout the year at Encounters in Bristol, Indianapolis, Asterfest in Macedonia and River Run in the U.S.
Maja Borg’s experimental documentary Future My Love premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival to critical acclaim in June and was nominated for the festival’s Michael Powell Award – the only Scottish production nominated for the award. The film has since started to travel on the festival circuit.
Three of their award-winning short documentaries Cutting Loose, Jimmy and The Perfect Fit enjoyed a week-long theatrical run at DocuWeeks™ in New York during August, resulting in The Perfect Fit being Oscar ® shortlisted for 2013.
SDI continued to put Scottish documentary on the map with films I Am Breathing, Pablo’s Winter, Pouters and Polaris being selected to screen at one of the world’s largest documentary festivals – the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam in November, where Pablo’s Winter was awarded the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary.
Clare Blackburn and Amy Hardie’s documentary Stem Cell Revolutions, distributed by SDI Productions enjoyed success when two stem cell researchers Shinya Yamanaka and John Gurdon, who featured in the film, were awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine.
Sonja Henrici of the Scottish Documentary Institute said:
“This truly is a bumper year for Scottish documentary. We’re so happy for all the filmmakers who have worked so hard for many years, and we can’t wait to present their work on screens across the world.”
Bridging the Gap
The Scottish Documentary Institute’s award-winning short documentary initiative Bridging the Gap is open each year to all Scottish-based filmmakers and is the leading short documentary initiative for cinema in the UK, nurturing and developing Scottish-based new talents. Now entering its 10th year, Bridging the Gap is supported by Creative Scotland.
The short films produced through the initiative to date have enabled their filmmakers to successfully transition between training/graduation and a first step in the industry, picking up awards, BAFTA’s, special mentions and festival screenings in over 45 countries world-wide.
This initiative is enabling Scottish-based filmmakers to apply for the opportunity to attend creative training programmes to develop their documentary projects, working closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute and leading filmmakers in the field (previous tutors include Kim Longinotto, Nicolas Philibert, Nick Broomfield and Phie Ambo).
On selection, projects are then commissioned at an industry pitching session, with a cash budget of £8K each (plus in-kind post-production and distribution support) and further hands-on training, right the way through the editing period. The films are then geared for distribution in cinemas and festivals.
The initiative also offers a series of public documentary master classes in Edinburgh, highlights of which will be available online for the benefit of the wider filmmaking community.
Leslie Finlay, Development Officer at Creative Scotland, who has supported Bridging the Gap since its inception, commented:
“The Scottish Documentary Institute is a world leader in discovering and nurturing outstanding Scottish based documentary talent. In its celebratory 10th year we look forward to discovering exciting and innovative Scottish documentary film-makers.”
Noe Mendelle, Director of Scottish Documentary Institute said:
“We’re proud to celebrate our 10th year of Bridging the Gap – it’s heartening to see the impact our work has had on the documentary scene, and seeing emerging film-makers blossom into fully fledged filmmakers. We’re interested in challenging stories and welcome creative, experimental and animated approaches this year to celebrate the diversity of what documentary can be.”
Other initiatives for emerging Scottish film-makers
Initiatives to nurture, teach and inspire emerging film-makers in Scotland are hugely important and the Scottish Documentary Institute is not the only company helping the country's talent.
‘Scottish Shorts’ from Hopscotch Films and Digicult, and Screen Academy Scotland’s ‘Lo-fi’ are incredibly important for emerging film-makers, as they provide an opportunity to not only work with and learn from experienced practitioners, but also build the foundations of future careers within the industry and act as a business card for film-makers trying to establish themselves.
Full details regarding each initiative can be found at scottishshorts.com and screenacademyscotland.ac.uk/lo-fi.
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