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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"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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About the film – At Home in the World

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An intimate and poignant look at a school for refugee children in Denmark.

Shot over the course of a year in a Danish school run by the Red Cross, At Home in the World offers a moving glimpse into the lives of five children struggling to learn a new language while adjusting to life in new surroundings. As they await the outcome of their family’s asylum claims, some of the children thrive and build friendships despite their traumatic pasts; others have difficulty containing their fears and sense of alienation.

With astonishing restraint, the film captures its young protagonists’ extraordinary resilience and fragility – while quietly paying tribute to their teachers’ remarkable humanity.

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Meet the NSA whistleblower: Bill Binney's call to action

At the UK premiere of A Good American at Take One Action Film Festival as part of Moving Docs, NSA analyst-turned-whistleblower Bill Binney made a strong case against mass surveillance and for the need to focus.

Here's our video:

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REBEL DOCS ROUND-UP

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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I AM BREATHING
FUTURE MY LOVE
PABLO'S WINTER
STEM CELL REVOLUTIONS

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