A Christmas message from SDI Director, Noe Mendelle:
I can only think of 2020 as a yo-yo year, a constant up and down situation. The world, our world, underwent massive changes with lasting impact.
One minute we’re emotionally frozen in front of our TV screens watching hundreds of patients in intensive care lying on hospital beds while columns of army trucks drive the dead through silent streets to the crematorium, the next minute we’re on our doorstep, clapping, singing, banging our pans to celebrate the resilience of our health workers but also everyone’s resilience, heartened to find some silver lining in this togetherness.
And in between, we need to work, look after our children and be creative all in one space.
The world is no longer our oyster, Zoomland is! Not only with the world on pause have we been able to listen to the birds in our gardens, but we were able to listen to them across the world whenever we were online. For the first time, I spent time in colleague’s houses, meeting their children, with their wee faces appearing on screen, curious to check who is talking to their parent or their cats mauling for dinner time.
We adapt and with renewed determination, SDI continues to evolve and refine new ways to fulfill our mission to support and champion documentary storytellers and assist many filmmakers as they navigate a changing, digital landscape, knowing that we have to go further, deeper in bringing diverse voices for social justice.
More than ever we need to change the shape of things. As Picasso said “la forme est une vision du monde” “shape is the interpretation of the world”. It’s the founding idea that art and documentary are at the forefront of bringing stories that share with people, ideas, and emotions they aren’t used to seeing and in the process change their vision of the world.
And in the process of saying goodbye to 2020, at SDI we are also saying goodbye to Rachel our production coordinator for the last four years, and also to Sonja Henrici, who has been by my side for over 16 years.
Sonja came to SDI adamant that it would just be a job because her passion was not documentary but fiction writing. Little did she know that documentary is an all mighty mistress that demands unconditional love. Sonja did love her back unconditionally and in the process became this all mighty Producer able to embrace films and filmmakers and make Scotland a better place.
The shape of SDI will change but the togetherness of the team is the solid rock waiting for the next wave.
Time to put tools down for two weeks and we will see you on the other side to make 2021 doubly bubbly and joyful….together.
(Main photo: Noe’s granddaughter, Vera)
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