Today sees the launch of the 18th edition of Bridging the Gap, our talent initiative offering in-depth support, a cash budget, and international distribution to emerging filmmakers based in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Filmmakers are being asked to respond to the theme of MOBILE, challenging applicants to define and redefine mobile through ideas, characters and stories. It is hoped that filmmakers will surprise judges with submissions that embrace the scope of the theme and subvert expectations in terms of form and content.
The initiative aims to bridge the gap between training/graduation and a first commission by offering filmmakers the opportunity to work closely with SDI, with judges particularly interested in filmmakers from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.
On the theme of MOBILE, SDI Director Noé Mendelle says:
This year we will be working with the theme of MOBILE. All of us, suspended by one thread and only allowed to rotate!
It feels appropriate having spent a few months of enforced immobility that we should look for characters and stories sharing new ways of perceiving their world and understanding the value of movement. We can no longer take it for granted, so let’s give voice to people whose mobility is restrained be it physical, economic, political or identity.
Black Lives Matter combined with the challenge of Covid make 2020 a year of real change as the twin crises put the spotlight on inequality as never before, but also on the notion of borders. Writer, Taye Selasi, points out that we learned to speak of countries’ borders as if they are fixed, but all of us in our lifetime have seen countries disappear and appear. She reminds us that cultures are real but countries are invented and that we have been privileging the romantic, fictive dream of the singular country over reality: human experience. All experience is local and all identity is experience…
So, let’s find those stories that will make us transcend our conservative understanding of boundaries and their limitations.
And finally, in the words of French director, Robert Bresson: “Make visible, what without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”
Up to 12 ideas will be short-listed on the basis of the proposal and supporting visual materials. The projects will be developed and honed further through workshops run online by international filmmakers and leading industry professionals. The 12 filmmakers will then pitch to a panel of experts, who will commission up to five films; four from Scotland-based filmmakers and one from Northern Ireland.
This year’s initiative follows BAFTA Scotland success in 2019 for Glasgow-based filmmakers Hannah Currie and Beth Allan, whose Bridging the Gap short, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore, won the award for Best Short Film last November.
Bridging the Gap is supported by Screen Scotland, Northern Ireland Screen and University of Edinburgh / Edinburgh College of Art.
The application deadline is noon on Friday 25th September.