New Voices documentary mentoring programme now open

New Voices is a six-month mentoring and professional development programme for women and non-binary filmmakers who aspire to become documentary directors and/or producers.

Run by Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI), this programme is a mix of group workshops and career coaching and sessions that focus on the business of documentary (e.g. film funding).

It is designed to grow successful applicants’ knowledge and expand their industry network, while exploring career expectations, any issues affecting confidence and practical issues such as childcare and finances. For the foreseeable future these will be delivered online (via Zoom), although there may be an opportunity to meet in Edinburgh later on.

The course is designed for emerging talent, i.e. filmmakers who have some experience of making  documentaries  that  they  can  show  us, perhaps  a  short  documentary (under 30 minutes), or microfilm/films that have been on platforms such as BBC Social, YouTube or Vimeo channels.

SDI are very keen to have diversity within the New Voices mentees, and strongly encourage applications from Black and Ethnic Minority female filmmakers.

Programme structure

New Voices is a 6-month programme taking place from October 20-March 21.

Over this time period each participant will receive:

  • 6 months of mentoring  support (1 hour per month) from a highly experienced film or TV producer/director
  • A programme of fortnightly career coaching and other sessions, led by SDI, guest speakers and pRESEPECT (a social enterprise which specialises in career coaching for Black and Ethnic Minority individuals). The programme sessions will take a deep dive into these topics:
    The roles of Producer and Director
  • Film funding
  • Breaking barriers, self-confidence and career planning
  • Pitching and presentation skills to access funding, festival submissions
  • Money talk-knowing your  worth, negotiation  practice, setting career salary expectations.
  • Know your strength - building resilience when things go wrong
  • Celebrating success, reflections and stepping up career goals
    How to apply

Anyone thinking of applying can read the guidance on SDI's website along with a recording of an information session recorded on Tuesday 7 July:

SDI can be contacted at with any questions.

This opportunity has been set up as part of the 50:50+ women direct campaign.

New Voices is funded by City of Edinburgh Council, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Screen Scotland and ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills programme.