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The Scottish Documentary Institute-Connecting Stories applications now open

Applications will close Monday 22nd March 2021.

The Scottish Documentary Institute is pleased to open applications for its new international mentorship scheme, Connecting Stories, run with the support of the British Council. Connecting Stories is a 9-month programme for documentary filmmakers developing their first or second feature film, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

It combines seminars exploring various aspects of the industry, including the development and the production of feature films, individual mentorship sessions, and masterclasses with international key players in the current documentary landscape.

Having delivered our Stories workshops over 10 years, working with over 170 participants, from 9 countries, we have developed Connecting Stories as an opportunity to help Stories alumni and others to take their documentary practice to a new level. In the process we will establish and host a peer-network of participants and our international speakers and mentors, bringing documentary filmmakers from across the world, with diverse experience, to share and learn from each other.

Up to 12 participants will be selected to take part in various online activities (group seminars, individual mentorship, industry events) designed to help them grow their knowledge of the industry, their confidence to navigate the international scene, to work with co-producers and to put together the right material to pitch their projects and apply for funding. We are looking for documentary filmmakers who have already directed one or two short films, which screened in festivals or had a broadcast on TV. Alumni of Stories workshops or other international labs are encouraged to apply.

Applicants are expected to be in development, production or early post-production of their first or second feature-length documentary, to have already engaged with their characters and to have some early footage showing their access to the story. Connecting Stories aims to support under-represented creative voices.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply to Connecting Stories, you must:

  • Be in development, production or post-production of your first or second feature-length documentary (60 minutes or over);

  • Have a trailer or some visual material;

  • Have directed at least two short documentaries shown at film festivals nationally and internationally or broadcast on television;

  • Have an intermediate or proficient level of English;

Programme structure

  • Connecting Stories is a 9-month programme taking place from April 2021 – January 2022. Over this time period each participant will get access to:

  • 6 months of mentoring support (1 hour per month) from a highly experienced documentary professional.

  • A series of up to 10 online seminars with international industry professionals, experts and award-winning filmmakers. These sessions will explore the following topics and more, based on the projects selected:

o Research and feature development;

o Storytelling and narrative in a feature-length documentary;

o Grants and funding applications writing;

o Pitching and trailer editing;

o International pitching forums, marketplaces and labs;

o Co-productions and the international documentary landscape;

o Post-production and sound design.

● Access to online masterclasses with international speakers;

● Access to the Edinburgh Pitch (June 2021);

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