Can you fund my film?
SDI is a hub for filmmakers. We are not a funding body, though some of the development schemes we run include financial support of projects. We help develop films and nurture filmmakers through different training opportunities and industry events
Are you a national film institute like the Danish and Swedish Film Institutes?
No. Creative Scotland are the national body tasked with funding the arts, craft and screen in Scotland. SDI delivers talent development for Scottish documentary filmmakers through project specific initiatives and productions (often funded by Creative Scotland), but also has an international talent outlook with production labs such as Stories.
What is your relationship with University of Edinburgh?
SDI is based within Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh and receives in-kind support from the institution for providing masterclasses and access to SDI’s industry network to film students and staff. SDI’s founder and director, Noe Mendelle is a part-time research professor and filmmaker at Edinburgh College of Art, specialising in creative documentary language and practice. She teaches Postgraduates and supervises PhDs by practice in Documentary. Sonja Henrici is co-director of SDI and her specialism centres on production, distribution, and new business and impact models in film. She sometimes produces other members of staff: Emma Davie, active filmmaker and Reader in Film & TV. Emma leads the MFA in Directing Documentary, and Dr Amy Hardie filmmaker, researcher and part time tutor for postgraduates, and co-supervisor of PhDs by practice.
You can learn more about Postgraduate Film opportunities at the University of Edinburgh here.
Do I have to be in Scotland to work with you?
We are proud to call Scotland our home and are committed to supporting the Scottish filmmaking community; a number of our opportunities are therefore open to Scottish individuals or those based and working in Scotland. We have always had a very international outlook, however, and in addition to screening many of our films worldwide we run intensive workshops and training labs in cities across the world through our Stories initiative. Every year we run and facilitate the Edinburgh Pitch, which is open to filmmakers and producers, based anywhere, working on feature documentaries.
You can find out more about all our Opportunities and which might be best for you here.
Do you have any jobs going?
Any vacancies with SDI will be advertised on our Jobs page and promoted across SDI’s social channels. If you’d like to Volunteer for some of our activities, please register your interest. There are lots of other ways you can get involved with SDI, however, such as taking part in one of our Opportunities or attending one of our Events. We also house interns from time to time, so please get in touch if you are interested.
How many films do you make a year?
Annually we make five Bridging the Gap shorts and three Right Here films, in addition to a number of short films produced as part of our Stories initiatives. Our features come out when they are ready, though we aim for one a year, more if we have supported filmmakers as Executive Producers.
How come you don’t distribute every Scottish doc that comes out of Scotland?
We do not have core funding to undertake a wider distribution of Scottish films. We aim to empower filmmakers by helping them learn about new models of distribution and marketing through our events and training opportunities, such as Make Your Market.
Are you a government funded body?
SDI is not a National Portfolio Organisation, though many of our training initiatives and films have received support from Creative Scotland. Scottish Documentary Institute is incorporated as a non-profit company Limited by Guarantee. It received Charitable Status in April 2019 from OSCR.