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SDI is proud to call Scotland its home and to support the thriving documentary scene here.

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SDI training initiatives have supported films that have won awards and played at festivals worldwide.

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SDI is run by a small but dedicated team of staff passionate about creative documentary.

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SDI is a hub for filmmakers, with an international reputation for producing innovative and creative documentary.

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Bridging the Gap Projects Selected for Development

Twelve projects selected for our short doc development scheme.

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Going Dutch – Two SDI Films Heading to IDFA

Freedom Fields and Becoming Animal are off to Amsterdam!

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BFI London Film Festival UK Premiere for Freedom Fields

Naziha Arebi's new feature will screen at the prestigious festival this October

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SDI at Open City Doc Festival

Premieres, panels and more at Open City Doc Fest!

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DISCOVER HOW TO EFFECTIVELY COMMISSION, DEVELOP, PITCH AND DISTRIBUTE FACTUAL DOCUMENTARIES WITH OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS. Film City Futures and the Scottish Documentary Institute are collaborating for this highly-anticipated event. The distribution landscape for documentaries has transformed radically in the past five years due to SVoD entrants with bigger budgets, investment, and more funding available. […]

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Scottish Documentary Blog

With this blog we want to share our reflections and questions about creative documentary practice. We will invite guest bloggers from time to time and really welcome comments on our articles.

Rebecca Day recently attended the Getting Real conference in Los Angeles, run by the folks at the International Documentary Association. It’s a three-day event filled with international filmmakers, inspiring keynotes, presentations, workshops, and vital conversations around the most urgent issues facing the documentary community today.

As in past years, the main focus was the ever-increasing question of sustainability within the industry. This year transparency and creativity were added to the conversation, which made it the perfect environment to launch a much-needed discussion around the more vulnerable aspects of making documentaries. Rebecca went over there to host a panel discussion titled ‘Therapeutic Interventions in Documentaries’. Here she tells us a little more about how her work as a producer is merging with her new focus on mental health in the documentary sphere.

Posted: October 10, 2018, 10:12 am

As you may have heard, SDI's latest offering Freedom Fields is to have its World Premiere this Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival!

The film is the first feature from British/Libyan director Naziha Arebi, making it also the first feature documentary made by a Libyan female director! 

Here's a quick shout out to all the Arab films making waves and heading to TIFF this week!

Posted: September 5, 2018, 4:52 pm

This is the final instalment of our guest blog from filmmaker Karen Guthrie, we hope you've found it enlightening! The self-distribution journey can be a challenging one but as Karen has pointed out the opportunities it affords can take you places you never expected. If more people taking distribution into their own hands means more great documentaries like The Closer We Get out there it can only be a good thing!


Posted: February 22, 2018, 12:17 pm

In the penultimate instalment of the guest blog Karen Guthrie recalls her experiences of taking The Closer We Get to audiences far and wide. The preparation, the travel, the money (or lack thereof) and the unexpected moments that make it all worth while!


Posted: January 22, 2018, 6:24 pm