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CPH:DOX 2010


The perfect (documentary) antidote to Sheffield Docfest is definitely CPH:DOX held in Copenhagen from the 4th to the 14th of November. The festival moves at a far more laidback pace and whilst having an industry focus with a forum, market and masterclass’ a plenty, feels so much more about celebrating creative storytelling rather than rushing around trying to catch the latest commissioner to pitch your idea to. I have a feeling that I could pitch to someone there at ‘leisure’ during one of the many food and drink parties that take place throughout the city. Being a filmmaker, of course both festival formats have to exist in order to survive and get your work out there but sometimes we get lost in trying to fund our films and forget to watch!

We were in Copenhagen not just to sample the fine beer and documentary but we had been asked to programme a few films from Scotland and nearby for the DOX:Market that were not likely to have exposure in Denmark. I took our latest Bridging the Gap films, Edinburgh College of Art films and 3 longer films The Edge of Dreaming by Amy Hardie, Colony by Carter Gunn & Ross McDonell and 1000 Pictures by Jennifer Stoddart which seemed to go down very well. We also had one of our latest Bridging the Gap films Lost Everyday by Michelle Coomber in the Short:Dox competition.

Watching is exactly what I wanted to do for a good chunk of my stay in Copenhagen, not before experiencing some incredibly strong pitches at the DOX:Forum, it’s always reassuring to see other pitching forums that are on the same scale to our Edinburgh Pitch held during the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June – seems we aren’t doing too badly in our aim to be a small, friendly, relaxed warm environment in order for people to pitch their ideas to commissioning editors without the hustle and bustle of a large market place going on around you. We think this is and excellent place for pitchers and funders to be at ease in and around the forum.  Highlights included Margreth Olin’s latest offering Nowhere Home and Hassel 12 by Mans Mansson, definitely ones to watch out for in the coming couple of years.

My colleagues have bashed on about coming to Denmark to experience the passion for documentary filmmaking there. I sampled some of Denmark’s finest in the shape of: and The Good Life by Eva Mulvad and produced by Scottish Doc Institute ‘regular’ Sigrid Dyekjær of Danish Documentary. A modern day Grey Gardens by Maysles brothers is totally spot on. The unflinching, claustrophobic pricklyness of watching once rich mother and daughter and their daily heated exchanges in their tiny flat in Portugal had you on your toes from start to finish – fantastic! I also watched Jorgen Leth’s Erotic Man, I love his work and don’t think this is an exception – like his regular collaborator Lars Von Trier he is playing with the audience in this provocative piece which made me love him, hate him and feel sorry for him many times throughout the 90 minutes!

I finally caught much talked about film The Arbor by Clio Barnard (UK/Japan) I had a lot of mixed feelings about it due to it’s typically socially realist themes which Stig Andersen from the Norwegian Film Institute pointed out “you Brits know how to celebrate poverty extremely well!” It isn’t entirely bleak though with many moments of hope and positivity peppered throughout, this is truly pushing the boundaries of the  between documentary and fiction, what a brave and interesting piece. A film that works on so many different levels.


Filed under: Festivals, Film Reviews, , , , ,

Bridging the Gap Selections and other news (Phew!)

Bridging the Gap: Shift Projects are…

…drum roll please!

The 12 shortlisted projects on the theme of Shift are:

– Ruth Reid – Day Shift Into Night
– Rehan Yousuf – The Gorilla Position
– Maurice O’Brien – The Ship of Stars
– Anne Milne – Pause for Thought
– Tali Yankelevich – The Perfect Fit
– Garry Fraser – Transition
– David Carins – The Hutters
– Martin Smith – Jimmy
– Paul Ryan – Battle of the Squirrels
– Andy Taylor Smith – I Can Smell the Cordite
– CP Lucas Kao – Life in the UK
– Amber Comerford – Spinal Shock

These filmmakers convinced us that they would explore the theme of SHIFT in a personal, creative and engaging way. They are now about to embark on an intense and formative series of workshops and masterclasses over the next few weeks.

And a big thank you to all the other applicants who submitted a proposal to BTG this year, it’s a shame we could only pick 12!

We’ve just completed the line-up for our new season of public masterclasses and Jean-Marie Teno, Cameroonian director, will be here on Friday 22 October. Please come along to Edinburgh College of Art to see some of his early short films and listen to him talking about documentary filmmaking.

2-5pm – Venue: eca Main Lecture Theatre (E22) in collaboration with Africa in Motion Film Festival

Other masterclasses for 2010 include Gaëlle Vidalie (Programmer for the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight) and Michael Palmieri & Donal Mosher (Filmmakers – October Country). More details on Masterclasses are free for everyone to attend but please RSVP.



Docscene Project Development Programme 2010-2011

We are pleased to announce we have selected two projects from the Highlands and Islands region to go into a bespoke development process as part of our year round development programme “Docscene” (supported by Creative Scotland, HIE and BBC Scotland).

– Dave Hammond – The Man who Built a Submarine in his House
– John Martin – The End of the Road

The filmmakers will be guided towards making their short films through individual consultancies and hands on mentoring through SDI.

We will be announcing further opportunities for project consultancies under the Docscene programme soon.


SDI Strand at Sheffield Docfest 2010

We have so many films at Sheffield Docfest this year that they decided to give us a special Scottish Documentary Institute strand! We have a total of 8 short documentaries including the latest from Bridging the Gap: Surprise, and 4 short docs that we made with The British Council and Bangladesh Documentary Council are going to premiere in Sheffield Doc/Fest this November!

Bridging the Gap: Surprise
Get Luder directed by Jonathan Carr 05/10 at 21:00
PS Your Mystery Sender directed by Benjamin Wigley 04/10 at 20:00
Surpriseville directed by Tim Travers Hawkins 06/10 at 21:00 and 07/10 at 10:00
Twinset directed by Amy Rose 03/10 at 16:00 and 06/10 at 10:00

Dhaka Stories
Bitter Lemon directed by Nazmun Naked 05/11 at 21:00 and 07/11 at 15:30
Calling Home directed by Shadman Alvi – 06/11 at 21:30
My Dream directed by Md Rezwan Ali Khan – 05/11 at 16:15 and 06/11 at 16:20
Waiting for Godot directed by Md Arifur Rahman – 04/11 at 12:00

Sonja, Flore and Finlay will all be attending from 3-7th Nov so we’ll hopefully see you there!

Check out the Scottish Doc Institute Focus: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2010


SDI ‘Retrospective’ at Zinebi Film Festival

We are absolutely delighted to be invited to Bilbao to hold a ‘retrospective’ of our work at the 52nd Zinebi Film Festival of Documentary and Short Films in November.

Now in it’s 52nd year the Zinebi Film Festival of Documentary and Short Film is an institution on the film festival calendar and constantly hosts some of the best known filmmakers and film stars in the world. Zinebi also champions new filmmakers and students and constantly nourishes local filmmakers throughout the year with a host of workshops all over the city.

We will have 2 short documentary screenings, packed with some of the best work from the last 6 years of Bridging the Gap, Edinburgh College of Art student work and other Scottish Documentary Institute affiliated films in Bilbao on the last weekend in November. We will also show two feature films during the Scottish Forum: Amy Hardie’s Edge of Dreaming and The New 10 Commandments by various talent based in Scotland including Tilda Swinton, Douglas Gordon and Irvine Welsh.

Zinebi Film Festival of Documentary & Short Film – 22nd November to the 27th November 2010.


CPH:DOX Market

This year the Scottish Documentary Institute will be curating a number of feature and short documentaries at CPH:DOX 2010, the largest documentary film festival in Scandinavia. We will be attending the forum and other events from the 9th to the 12th November.

We are taking our latest Bridging the Gap films including some of the latest Edinburgh College of Art films to the DOX:Market in Copenhagen. Along with these we have chosen a number of Scottish docs including Oscar long listed 1000 Pictures by Jennifer Stoddart and an Irish feature in the shape of Colony by Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell. Colony will also have it’s Scandinavian premiere at the festival. We selected films that have not previously been screened to a Scandinavian audience and would not necessarily  get exposure in this part of the world.

SDI will be in Copenhagen from the 9th to the 12th November 2010.

For more info:


Document 8 – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival – Glasgow

SDI is delighted to partner with Document 8 and to once again welcome Emmy award winner Geoffrey Smith (The English Surgeon, Presumed Guilty) who will discuss the tricky process of editing this highly observational “court room drama” and his approach to documentary storytelling.

His latest documentary Presumed Guilty, co-directed with Roberto Hernandes will be screened on Saturday 30 October at 2:15pm (CCA 5) and will be followed by a Q&A with Geoffrey.

Tickets are available from CCA Box Office (0141 352 4900)


Amy Hardie’s Dangerous Dreams on More 4

Don’t forget to tune in to see Amy Hardie’s Dangerous Dreams (the shorter version of Edge of Dreaming) on More 4 at 10pm tomorrow night.

Dangerous Dreams (Edge of Dreaming): This is the story of a rational, sceptical woman, a mother and wife, who does not remember her dreams. Except once, when she dreamt her horse was dying. She woke so scared she went outside in the night. She found him dead. The next dream told her she would die herself, when she was 48.

Filed under: Bridging the Gap, Festivals, Scottish Doc Institute, , ,

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