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:

Screenings and Events

Bridging the Gap: Women

As usual we have the annual World Premiere of our Bridging the Gap shorts. We're really excited this year as it is the first in which all four films have been directed by women! Creative Scotland’s recent Screen Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Review found that we still have some way to go in this country to help redress the imbalance in male to female directors so we’re happy to shine a spotlight on the issue whilst showing off some of Scotland’s best emerging documentary talent at the same time!  You can check out the trailers for the films on Facebook here.

// Bridging the Gap: Women, Friday 17th June @ 15:35 //


The Edinburgh Pitch

Our other annual event is The Edinburgh Pitch, Scotland’s only international documentary pitching forum! This year we have a fantastic international panel from expert organisations such as Dogwoof, IDFA, Britdoc and POV and an even more international group of projects. Don’t miss out on this wonderful networking opportunity, get your observer tickets here!

// The Edinburgh Pitch, Thursday 16th June @ 09:30–17:30 //


The Island and the Whales

One of our top documentary picks is the European Premiere of Mike Day’s documentary The Island and the Whales. Focusing on the Pilot whale hunters of the Nordic Faroe islands the film looks at how traditional cultures are impacted by the modern world.  When the project was in development it came through our InterDoc Plus consultancy scheme and now, in its marketing and distribution phase, it's part of our and We Are The Tonic’s Make Your Market programme. We’re delighted to have it screen here in Edinburgh after its massive success at Hot Docs in April, where Day won the Emerging International Filmmaker Award.

// The Island and the Whales, European Premiere - Friday 17th June @ 20:45 // Other Screenings: Sunday 19th June @ 13:25 //


A Reykjavík Porno

Another fantastic project on our Make Your Market scheme. Graeme Maley’s Nordic noir, appropriately set during Iceland’s winter months of near constant darkness, is not for the feint hearted.

// A Reykjavík Porno, Thursday 23rd June @ 18:05 & Friday 24rd June @ 20:35 //


Industry Events


For the past six months we have been working with London-based Distribution Agency, We Are The Tonic, on Make Your Market, the first initiative in Scotland to focus on developing and implementing new models of film marketing, distribution and audience engagement.

Over four public sessions throughout the day we will cover topics such as what we can learn from impact producers, modern marketing and distribution strategies and more specifically indie film distribution in Scotland. We will be joined by our Make Your Market trainee Producers of Marketing and Distribution, who will discuss their experiences on the programme working in both fiction and documentary.

We are delighted to be taking part in Distribution Rewired to report back experiences and to look at today’s rapidly changing media world.

// Make Your Market @ DISTRIBUTION REWIRED, Monday 20th June @ 13:00–16:15, EIFF Passholders Only //


Youth Hub - Spotlight on…Documentary

Are you under 25 and have an idea for a short documentary? Fancy discussing it with some experts? Come along to a session and meet the team and the filmmakers behind the Bridging the Gap shorts. This is a fantastic opportunity to chat with both professional and aspiring documentary filmmakers, share ideas and get some feedback.

// Youth Hub – Spotlight on… Documentary, Monday 20th June @ 16:45-17:45, Free with Eventbrite sign-up //


Jordan Stories: developing voices through creative documentary

For many years now we have worked with the British Council on a ground-breaking programme of creative documentary workshops across the globe and most recently in Amman, Jordan. This panel brings together filmmakers from Jordan Stories with Alaa Qattam of British Council Jordan and our very own Noe Mendelle to explore short creative documentary as an art form, why it is important and what opportunities it creates for filmmakers. The event will include an exclusive screening of three creative documentaries from Jordan Stories.

// Jordan Stories, Saturday 18th June @ 13:30-14:30, EIFF Passholders Only //


Other SDI top picks:


This fascinating documentary asks are edible insects the answer to the world’s food problems? Our friends at Film & Campaign have been deeply involved in the project and we’re hoping they can broaden our culinary horizons and embrace a bug sandwich!

// Thursday 16th June @ 18:10 & Saturday 18th June @ 13:30 //


Lost In France

Another Scottish documentary that we’re dying to see; Lost in France recounts the road trip made by a gang of Scottish indie musicians from Chemikal Underground Records in the late 90’s to rural France to play a one-off gig. Fans of this scene will be delighted to know that there will be a post-screening gig featuring many of the bands.

// Thursday 16th June @ 20:55 & Friday 17th June @ 17:30 inc. live gig //


Shorts 3: Flaming Creatures

Bridging the Gap alumni and director of Future My Love, Maja Borg’s new work is included in this shorts programme focusing on the body. Borg’s work is always as intellectually provocative as it is visually stunning, we’re in for a cinematic treat!

// Saturday 18th June @ 16:00 //


The McLaren Award: New British Animation 1

This year, Bridging the Gap alumni, Duncan Cowles and his collaborator, Ross Hogg, are up for the prestigious McLaren award for their beautiful short, Isabella, which won the Scottish Short Film award at Glasgow Short Film Festival this year.

// Wednesday 22nd June, 16:15 //


Five Animated Years of Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson

Friends of SDI’s, Anderson and Henderson are both graduates from Edinburgh College of Art’s animation degree course and since that time have been setting the world alight with their collaborations. This is their first major retrospective and you can be sure you’ll be delighted, entertained and moved.

// Friday 24th June @ 15:45 //


Out of Bounds: Student Shorts

Students from the University of Edinburgh’s MSc Film, Exhibition and Curation course present a programme showcasing shorts from the UK film academies and they have chosen to include Frederik Subei’s superb documentary Transit Zone. Filmed during a winter in the “jungle” at Calais, this film depicts the fading dream of a desperate migrant refugee.

// Friday 24th June @ 18:15 //