From Edinburgh Pitch to Festival Success

Most calendars run from January to January, others from September to September, and SDI's calendar from 19 June to 19 June… Why? Well, we're 'Making Docs Happen' at the Edinburgh Pitch!

See our photo gallery here.

Our array of panellists is your dream family. New to the family this year, we have a fantastic group of women: Claire Aguilar (ITVS), Diana Holtzberg (Films Transit International), Debra Zimmerman (Women Make Movies), Sabine Rollberg (WDR/ARTE), and Elisabeth Hulten (ARTE France). I am sure they will be charmed by Edinburgh and our gentle approach to discovering talent. This is what the Edinburgh Pitch is about, our storytelling and humanity.

And to help me facilitate the day, as ever, we have Tue Steen Müller, our documentary cultural ambassador, who has helped so many emerging filmmakers from all over the world, and many moons ago decided to embrace SDI vision and team and make Edinburgh a yearly pilgrimage. Together we selected a wide range of projects and Tue will spend a day prior to the pitch polishing any rough edges.

This year we are going to miss Simon Kilmurry from POV. Right from the beginning he has been our strong supporter, with intelligent and encouraging comments and a Glaswegian twinkle in his eyes. Thank you Simon, and we are saving your seat for next year. 

Financially we are the poor cousin of other pitches but we make up for it with the warm welcome to our family. Elsewhere you have a cash award, here we have an exclusive bottle of whisky! And to the best pitchers, Distrify will offer a year's worth of free consultancy and free premium service.

Last year the bottle was won by the team of The Punk Syndrome for best pitch. Jukka and Sami did an amazing double act which got everyone laughing, and they managed to carry the same dry humour into their film, a fine line to walk when the film is about a band of musicians with learning difficulties. It was great to see the North American premiere at Hot Docs. The film is being screened in Sheffield this Thursday and Saturday. NOT to be missed. It is hilarious yet extremely moving.

Another film from last year’s Edinburgh Pitch was shown at Hot Docs: Despite the Gods by Penny Vozniak takes us behind the scenes with Jennifer, David Lynch’s daughter, struggling as a female director, and one parent family in India. Terrible nightmare, and when the lights are back on, we female filmmakers can sigh with relief that it was not about us!

Both films are now being broadcast and distributed on an international level. We are really pleased that the Scottish Documentary Institute helped to turn the pitches into successful films.

If you haven't got your observer pass to the Edinburgh Pitch yet, you could still check with Flore ([email protected]) to see if we have any seats left.