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Celebrating Diversity In Scottish Documentary

Scottish Documentary Institute, inspiring and nurturing Scotland's documentary filmmakers
Scottish Filmmakers - Photo credit Hannah Currie - CA Media

Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) is a small charity, based in Edinburgh, whose mission is to ensure creative documentary has a home in Scotland, with a diverse community of documentary filmmakers connected to the global documentary marketplace. Since it was established in 2004, SDI has supported over 600 directors and producers, enabling them to create meaningful and artistically vibrant documentaries, seen by audiences in more than 80 countries.

SDI's Initiatives

Bridging art and industry, SDI grows films and filmmakers through a 'talent development ladder' of training and development schemes that take emerging filmmakers from their first professional short film to feature film production. Their award-winning short film scheme, 'Bridging the Gap', provides participants with a budget to make their film, mentoring, equipment and international distribution. It is often a first step into a successful career as a documentary filmmaker.

Diversity In The Film Industry

Unfortunately the UK film industry is as male and white as it was 100 years ago. Around 24% of all feature film directors are women, 2% are filmmakers of colour and 1% are disabled.

SDI has been working hard to help redress this imbalance by bringing filmmakers with protected characteristics in from the fringes of the industry, and developing their skills, knowledge, confidence and contacts. Now, it supports equal numbers of men and women each year and increasingly more non-binary filmmakers, 30% of its filmmakers are filmmakers of colour and 7% are disabled.

What People Say About SDI

"I thought, being from India originally, I would be an unnoticed person all my life in Scotland, and an unnoticed filmmaker. I don't feel that anymore. I feel valued." Filmmaker on SDI's New Voices scheme for women documentary filmmakers

"I've not always had the belief and self-confidence in myself and my creative work to get to where I really wanted to go. Bridging the Gap has been a safe and nurturing place. I know I have a real film and I also know how to pitch it too, with pride and confidence."

"I can't tell you how much difference that makes to me. Just amazing." Filmmaker on SDI's Bridging the Gap scheme

Player Support

Flore Coquer, SDI Director, said, "Support from players of People's Postcode Lottery has enabled us to develop more documentary makers who are under-represented in the film industry, so we can change the mainstream media narrative and see everyone's lives reflected on our screens."

Awarded through People's Postcode Trust, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over £35,000 to support the work carried out by Scottish Documentary Institute. These important funds have allowed the charity to bring vital diversity to Scotland's film industry and to establish a new documentary hub, in Leith, Edinburgh, which it moved into early 2022.

Making A Difference

People's Postcode Lottery players are helping deserving causes like Scottish Documentary Institute make a difference every single day. Read more about the range of Charities which our players support.

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Published: 12/12/2022

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