In Praise of Mining Poems

Mining Poems or Odes, produced as part of last year's Bridging the Gap: Resilience programme, is currently a Top Staff Pick on Vimeo and it's great to see it's getting a warm reaction in the comments feed!

When Lisa Clarkson saw "Mining Poems or Odes" for the first time, it inspired her to write this response. Lisa is a graduate from Screen Academy Scotland. She says she wants to be a writer when she grows up, or a Foley Artist. Lisa lives and works in Edinburgh. 


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Docs in socks

If you're anything like us you'll have sussed the real meaning of Christmas a long time ago ... it's all about the movies isn't it! DVDs are one of the few gifts that probably aren't going to get returned and what is Boxing Day for if not a marathon sofa sesh with some old and new classics on the TV? So let us help you out a little with some curated suggestions for those stocking fillers and some great stuff to stream to the smart telly...


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Adventures in Amsterdam through the eyes of our IDFA delegates

A mighty delegation of Scottish filmmakers descended on this year’s IDFA, joined by members of the SDI team, including our new Assistant Producer Tricia Brown. Tricia caught up with some of the Creative Scotland bursary-awarded delegates to ask them about their experiences.


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Paul Fegan on what it takes to promote an independent film

“We live in a time where if you make something you’ve got to be able to get it out there yourself,” says filmmaker Paul Fegan, whose first feature, Where You’re Meant to Be, get its European premiere at IDFA on Friday. The film has already done phenomenally well at home and internationally. Paul recently won a Grierson Award for Best Newcomer and a Silver Hugo for Best Documentary at the Chicago Film Festival, and the film has been screened more than 150 times at over 60 cinemas.


Paul Fegan with Iain MacDonald, a crofter from Skye who features in the film. 

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"too emosh for a Monday night 😭" - The nation reacts to This Is Scotland

On October 3rd and 10th, sandwiched between Monday night episodes of Corrie, our 2016 This Is Scotland films were screened on STV. We were delighted and moved by the reactions to the films on social media so we've decided to collect them all up here.



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Here's a round-up of all our Rebel Doc of the Day posts from the past couple weeks! Compiled by a mix of SDI staff, Bridging the Gap alumni and top industry experts we think we might have compiled the ultimate list of 'rebellious' documentaries and documentarians! 

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If you want peace, prepare for war

We are very excited indeed that Thierry Garrel will be joining us to tutor our Bridging The Gap Development Workshop in October.

At the age of just twenty years old, Thierry joined the national French TV and radio broadcasting agency, ORTF, before going on to become Head of the Documentary and Junior Authors Division at the 'Institut National de l’Audiovisuel' (INA). From 1987 until 2008, he was the Head of the Documentary Film Department of La Sept and ARTE France, European cultural channel. While in this position, he developed many highly remarked programs and the renowned “GRAND FORMAT” collection which has coproduced and aired over 200 international award-winning feature length documentaries.  

He now works as a Consultant, leading international seminars and workshops which focus on mentoring young documentary creators and professionals.

Read Thierry's reflections on the documentary filmmaker's duty to rebel!


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Noe Mendelle on Doc Rebellion

Rebellion in documentary is about bearing witness not retribution.

This summer I have been back in the editing room, trying to make sense of the material I have been shooting in the Bijagos archipelago off the West coast of Africa, over the last 4 years.

Having closely studied their history I have learnt that they are many different ways of rebelling and how we define acts of ‘rebellion’ is not always obvious. 


(Still from Noe Mendelle's forthcoming film shot in the Bijagos)





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SDI at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival

It’s that time of year again… Tomorrow the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival kicks off and we’re very pleased to see so many friends and colleagues in the line-up! With such a massive selection of fantastic films and events to pick from we thought we’d help all you Scottish doc-heads out by giving you a quick round-up of everything that we’re up to at this year’s festival:

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Introducing... WOMEN

This year’s Bridging the Gap is well underway, with our four commissioned filmmakers currently in production with their selected films which will each respond to this year’s theme, WOMEN. We are delighted that, aptly, this year is the first year we have an all female cohort of participants.

Natalia is a freelance video editor and motion graphics designer with a big passion for documentary filmmaking. Originally from Greece, she has spent the last ten years studying and working in Italy and England and has recently made Scotland her new home. Lindsay is a visual artist, filmmaker and underwater camera woman. Wilma is a self shooting filmmaker with several shoestring budget features to her credit and who has recently turned to documentary. And Lucie is a lens-based artist living in Dundee. Her practice is somewhat confessional, working predominantly in video and photography to express recurring themes of domestic relationships, gender and the unspoken.

We caught up with each of them as they enter this exciting, if challenging, part of the process, to hear a little more about their idea and its development. 


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