BenKempasPress Release

13 July 2011 – for immediate release
Attn:  News desks / Arts correspondents

Ben Kempas (The D-Word/ joins Scottish Documentary Institute as Producer of Marketing & Distribution

As Producer of Marketing and Distribution, Ben will be working on SDI’s online and outreach strategies, thanks to investment from Creative Scotland for SDI’s innovative Virtuous Circle project.

Virtuous Circle is a new investment model that aims to test how direct and deep audience engagement builds alternative and sustainable revenues as well as marketing muscle for documentaries.

Ben has been inside the documentary world for the last 15 years. He is best known for his film Upstream Battle (2008) and as co-host of The D-Word, the worldwide online community of documentary professionals founded by Doug Block (since 2002). He has also worked as Director of Photography for numerous international clients.

Ben Kempas says: “I’ve always been very passionate about Scotland, about independent documentaries, and about building communities. Now for the first time ever, I’ll get to combine all three of these passions in one job, thanks to SDI and Creative Scotland. Is there a better place to start than with the rightful successors of John Grierson, the Scottish godfather of documentary?”

Virtuous Circle will test and develop tools and strategies to be used at any stage of production and distribution. Noé Mendelle, Director of Scottish Documentary Institute at Edinburgh College of Art says: “Ben’s commitment to spreading the documentary gospel fits right into our ethos. We’re really excited to add someone of such calibre to our full time staff. We’re keen to strengthen the communication of what we do and reach new audiences and stakeholders for documentaries.”

Leslie Finlay, Development Officer at Creative Scotland says: ‘SDI is forward thinking in testing new roles such as that of the “PMD – Producer of Marketing & Distribution”. Creative Scotland is committed to looking at new models of financing and distribution and delighted to be contributing to the development of Scottish documentaries in this way.’

Ben will take up his job in August 2011.

For further information contact:

Noemie Mendelle/ Director or Sonja Henrici, Head of Development, SDI: +44 (0) 131 221 6125  s.henrici (at)

Notes to editors:

1. Scottish Documentary Institute is a documentary research, production and distribution centre at Edinburgh College of Art. It was set up in 2004.  SDI Productions Ltd was set up in 2007 and provides the production platform for SDI.

Our aim is to stimulate and inspire the documentary scene in Scotland and beyond through focus on creative excellence and clear international outlook. We also work at bridging the gap between academia and industry.

Our films have played at major film festivals, such as Sundance, Cannes, Hotdocs, Tribeca, Full Frame, Silverdocs, IDFA, Cinéma du Reel, Vision du Réel, Leipzig and have picked up major awards and nominations.

2. To join the mailing list go to

3. Virtuous Circle is funded supported through a one off fund for New Investment Models, announced earlier this year by Creative Scotland. More info here.

4. Creative Scotland is the new national leader for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland and plays a lead role in promoting the value and importance of the sector. Creative Scotland invests in talented people and exciting ideas, develops the creative industries and champions Scottish creativity. Working with partners and cultural organisations, Creative Scotland works to ensure that a diversity of audiences, both at home and internationally, enjoy access to the best of Scotland’s creative arts.

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