Media Release: ‘Bridging the Gap’ competition produces ‘surprising’ selection of short film ideas

THE Scottish Documentary Institute is delighted to announce the 12 filmmakers selected for this year’s Bridging the Gap Production Scheme, who come from different corners in the UK.

The ideas (of which over 125 were submitted around the theme of ‘Surprise’) will now be developed in intense training workshops over the next three months and pitched for commissioning in March. Stories range from a blind photographer, a ghost story, a surprising family discovery, to a gated community called Surprise in Arizona.

The 12 selections are:

Amy Rose – Twinset – Edinburgh

Benjamin Wigley – PS Your Mystery Sender – Nottingham

Derville Quigley – No Toes – Belfast

Emma Barnie – Switched Off – London

Eric Robinson – Remembering Yellow – Edinburgh

Holly Elson – Letter to my Father – Stratford

Ilinca – Calugareanu Rosha-Mura – Manchester

Jonathan Carr – Get Luder – Glasgow

Michelle Coomber – Lost Every Day – London

Rana Ayoub – On off – Edinburgh

Sam Firth – Surprise! Your Body is Eating Itself – Mallaig

Tim Travers – Hawkins Surprise AZ – Canterbury

Now in its seventh year, Bridging the Gap is funded by Scottish Screen’s National Lottery fund and Skillset, through the Skillset Film Skills Fund as part of A Bigger Future, BBC Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise as well as generous in-kind support from Edinburgh College of Art (eca), home of Scottish Documentary Institute.

Consistently picking up awards, Baftas, special mentions and festival screenings in over 40 countries worldwide, Bridging the Gap is one of the leading documentary new talent initiatives for cinema in the UK. It offers an intense creative training programme alongside production and the chance for a transmission on BBC Scotland. This year, seven short documentaries with a budget of up to £16K each (£8K cash, £8K in-kind).

The first of eight public masterclasses in the new year will kick off on Fri 22 January 2010 with Swiss filmmaker Peter Liechti (The Sound of Insects – Portrait of a Mummy).

Notes to editors:

1. To join the mailing list go to

2. For further information on Scottish Documentary Institute’s activities, please go to

3. Scottish Screen is the national screen agency for Scotland with responsibility for developing all aspects of screen culture and industry across the country. Scottish Screen invests around £6m in the development and promotion Scotland’s screen industries each year. This includes distributing £2.2m of National Lottery funds. For more information visit:

4. Skillset is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media which comprises tv, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging and publishing. Jointly funded by industry and government, our job is to help the UK creative media industries have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, so that our industries remain competitive. For more information visit:

A Bigger Future is a strategic plan for delivering industry relevant skills in the UK film industry. The result of 12 months research and consultation with the industry – from those involved in script development to those working in exhibition – it is a £50m, five-year plan. It is funded by the National Lottery through the UK Film Council, and from contributions made to the Skills Investment Fund (SIF) from feature films, and additionally-levered sources of finance.

5. BBC Scotland will select films for transmission after Dec 2011.

6. Recent awards and nominations for Bridging the Gap (selected):

* Peter in Radioland dir: Johanna Wagner

Winner – Best Scottish Documentary Short Award, EIFF 2009

Nominated – Best European short film nomination for European Film Academy Award, EIFF 2009

Nominated – Best Scottish short film, BAFTA Scotland 2009

* Sporran Makers (BTG6) dir: Jane McAllister

Nominated for best Scottish documentary Award 2009, Edinburgh International Film Festival ‘09

* At Home with the Jedi (BTG6) dir: R F Simpson

CPH:DOX 2009 – nominated for the short DOX award

* Unearthing the Pen (BTG6) dir: Carol Salter

Nominated for Silver Cub Award: IDFA 2009

* Irene (BTG5) dir: Lindsay Goodall

Winner Palm Springs Best Short Doc, 2009

Jury Award, Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival 2009

Nominated Best Scottish Short Film, BAFTA Scotland 2008

* Steel Homes (BTG5) dir: Eva Weber

Short film competition: Sundance 2009 and Sundance Institute 16 city tour in the USA

Nominated for best short doc: Hot Docs 2009

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Contact: Sonja Henrici
Phone: 07765 415 486