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Scottish Documentary Institute | Edinburgh, UK

Scottish Documentary Institute’s new call for proposals on the theme of HOME open to all UK-based filmmakers

Bridging the Gap is the only documentary new talent initiative in the UK which offers an intense creative training programme alongside production. After picking up three awards and special mentions at the 61st Edinburgh International Film Festival this year for projects produced under the scheme last year, including best short Scottish Documentary - this year seven short documentaries with a budget of £16K each (8K in cash, 8K in-kind) will be commissioned at an industry pitching session in December. The call for entries is now open, with a deadline for application of 8 October 2007.

In its fifth year, Bridging the Gap has again attracted substantial investments by Scottish Screen’s National Lottery investment and Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries, with generous in-kind support from Edinburgh College of Art (eca), home of Scottish Documentary Institute, and Angus Digital Media Centre, which has made it possible to continue the initiative aimed at the wider UK production community.
Noe Mendelle, director of Scottish Documentary Institute said: “We pride ourselves in offering filmmakers a safe and experimental space to explore the traditional boundaries of documentary and we’ve been ever so delighted with the results this year. Our film festival awards and screenings to date are testimony to the quality of the films produced under Bridging the Gap and we are very happy that Scottish Screen and Skillset continue to support this talent initiative. We have picked the theme of HOME to encourage a most diverse range of applications from people with very different backgrounds.”

eca Vice Principal Brent MacGregor said: “We are very proud to be able to continue to support this initiative. Together with Screen Academy Scotland our partnership with Napier University, Bridging the Gap is a hugely significant development offering unique training and production possibilities to filmmakers in Scotland.”

“The scheme is aimed at bridging the gap between training / graduation and first professional commission for newer directing talent. For the first time aspiring producers without projects may also apply and participate in some of the workshops as well as shadow some of the commissioned projects,” Noe Mendelle continued.

While twelve directors will be selected and put through a training process, the initiative will also present a series of public documentary master classes in Edinburgh which will be streamed online for the first time this year for the benefit to the wider filmmaking community. Seven filmmakers will receive a 16K budget to go on to make their ten minute documentaries, alongside further hands on training in directing and post-production. The films are geared for distribution in cinemas and festivals.

Support from Skillset has been received as part of A Bigger Future, the five year UK film skills strategy which covers the skills needs of everyone working in the industry from development through to exhibition. The five year strategy, a joint initiative between Skillset and the UK Film Council, is funded by national lottery money and industry investment.