Open call for Bridging the Gap documentary training programme

The call is open for the 15th year of prestigious documentary training programme Bridging the Gap, and this year it’s all about ‘Love’.

Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI)’s acclaimed training initiative Bridging the Gap is open to early-career filmmakers from Scotland and Northern Ireland, thanks to the support from Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen.

The call for applications will open on Thursday 31st of August and close on Thursday 5th October, with the commissioned films premiering at Edinburgh International Film Festival next June. This year the filmmakers are invited to respond to the theme of LOVE.

Noé Mendelle, Director of Scottish Documentary Institute, said: “With this year's theme, we want to find stories that explore all the possible meanings of 'Love'. That could be as a subversion to our current political and emotional framework, or it could be holding up a mirror to our love stories, in all their oddity, uniqueness and complexity.”

About Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap is one of the leading documentary new talent initiatives in the UK, offering intensive training and commission opportunities to emerging UK-based filmmakers. The programme helps the filmmakers to develop their 10-minute documentary projects and gives them the chance to work closely with industry professionals and SDI over a period of nine months. Previous tutors include Jennifer Fox, Margarida Cardoso, Nicolas Phillibert, Nick Broomfield, Phie Ambo, and Thierry Garrel.

Up to five projects will be commissioned with the possibility of a cash budget of £8K each (plus in-kind production and distribution support) and further hands-on training, right the way through the editing period. The films are geared toward distribution in cinemas and festivals.

To date the programme has enabled the filmmakers to take successful first steps in the industry, picking up awards, BAFTAs, special mentions and festival screenings in 60 countries world-wide. Edinburgh International Film Festival, Sundance, Sheffield Doc/Fest, SXSW, IDFA and many other first class international film festivals regularly select Bridging the Gap films and recent productions have gone on to being short-listed for an Oscar® (The Perfect Fit) and a BAFTA (Mining Poems Or Odes).

Noé Mendelle said: “We're very proud to have seen so many Bridging the Gap filmmakers continue their careers on the international scene and we are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Bridging the Gap is supported by Creative Scotland, who cites SDI as their principal partner in delivering talent development for documentary.

Robbie Allen, Senior Screen Executive at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is proud to continue its support for Bridging the Gap, as it celebrates its 15th edition. The initiative has created an excellent tradition of discovering and nurturing outstanding Scotland-based documentary talent and sharing their work with an international audience.”

The programme is receiving support from Northern Ireland Screen for the second year.

Andrew Reid, Head of Production at Northern Ireland Screen, said: “Bridging the Gap is a fantastic opportunity for emerging documentary filmmakers to hone their craft with some of the world’s most respected documentary practitioners. Northern Ireland Screen is proud to be able to continue to support the Scottish Documentary Institute and partner with Creative Scotland.”

Bridging the Gap training is hosted at Edinburgh College of ArtUniversity of Edinburgh, home and supporter of SDI.

The call is now open, with a deadline for applications of 5th October 2017. 

The initiative will also present inspiration workshops across Scotland and in Belfast this September to encourage applications to Bridging the Gap and meet new talents, as well as a series of public documentary masterclasses in Edinburgh, highlights of which will be available online for the benefit of the wider filmmaking community.

Contact: Bridging the Gap, T: +44 (0) 131 651 5760,

Scottish Documentary Institute, eca – 78 West Port | Edinburgh | EH1 2LE | Scotland UK, T: +44 (0) 131 651 5871,