Donkeyote Star Speaks to SDI

We popped over to Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary film festival and we managed to catch up with Gorrión, who plays the animal lead in Donkeyote, which received its Canadian premiere at the festival.

 

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Clever Stunt or Rapid Response Documentary Genius?

According to his Twitter biog, writer, director and comedian Vito Gesualdi "directs weird video game trailers". Recently he's channeled his many talents into producing a rather clever short YouTube documentary about a clash between anti-fascist protestors and Trump supporters in Berkeley, California. Ben Cohen of The Daily Banter (where we found out about Vito and his exploits), describes it as "the greatest thing on the internet right now." 

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This Is Scotland - Tips From The Top

Advice for your This is Scotland submission from Elizabeth Partyka, Deputy Director of Channels at STV.

With This is Scotland in its third season, we’re keen to inspire and entice the best up-and-coming filmmakers to make submissions. Earlier in the month we organised an Inspiration Workshop in Glasgow, when we were lucky to be joined by Elizabeth Partyka, Deputy Director of Channels at STV. Elizabeth shared her experience, knowledge and tips on how to make the best submission to the initiative.

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Still from 2016 This Is Scotland film 'Black Rat Island'

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How Duncan Cowles long lost iPhone note led him to film funding and Kate Winslet

It might be a good idea to have a look through the notes on your phone. You might find that your past ramblings hold the keys to future success and happiness. When filmmaker Duncan Cowles took a trip down digital memory lane it was a meander that led him to his first funded short: Directed by Tweedie, and to a meeting with Kate Winslet (evidenced below). Directed by Tweedie has inspired a new project so we have every reason to believe that the note will go on... Duncan told us about the impact the note had on his career and about his new project.  

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SDI's Top Picks for International Women's Day!

Has International Women's Day crept up on you this year and now you're in dire need of a stimulating event to attend in celebration? ...Well search no more friends because we at SDI have rounded up a couple great ideas for you to head to TONIGHT!

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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.

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

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Theresa May's pet project (and it's not Brexit)

Christmas has come early for the new British Prime Minister. Theresa May’s pet project, the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ to massively ramp up state surveillance, was defeated by Lib Dem opposition during the previous coalition government. But just hours after the ballots were counted on 8 May 2015, a triumphant May announced that the new, unrestrained Conservative government would resurrect the bill, in order to ensure the security services can “keep us safe and secure”. Last week this new Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill passed the final reading in the House of Lords and is likely to become law before the year is up.

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Debate around the bill – limited as it was – has tended to polarise around two sometimes abstract positions: On the one hand, those who believe that ‘ordinary’ citizens should have no reason to fear a bit of state surveillance; on the other, those who issue dire warnings about freedom and privacy. So what’s the issue with this legislation – and what will actually change when the IP Bill becomes law?

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