The extraordinarily capable and generous SDI staffers run a number of filmmaker support and programs designed to shepherd worthy documentaries from pre-production through the festival circuit and on to the marketplace, and also produce films under the SDI banner.
A Banner Year
Their record is always good. This year, it's exceptional!
It's debatable whether SDI's 2012 crowning glory is that one of its films, The Perfect Fit, has made the documentary shorts shortlist for Oscars consideration, or that two lead subjects of another of its films, Stem Cell Revolutions, have just won the Nobel Prize for medicine.
The Perfect Fit, directed by Tali Yankelevich, manages to show in just nine minutes the remarkable know how, dedication and achievement that go into the making of a ballet slipper, that carefully engineered shoe that can support or squash a ballerina's foot. The subject of ballet slipper construction is one that might be overlooked by anyone who hasn't danced sur pied, but it's fascinating and full of surprises.
The Perfect Fit is available for viewing on Distrify for a couple of dollars. The film is also screening at upcoming festivals: 2-in-1 Film Festival (Moscow), VoxFeminae (Croatia) Arkbank Film Festival (Turkey) and Cucalorus Film Festival (North Carolina, USA).
In Stem Cell Revolutions, filmmaker Amy Hardie and science producer Clare Blackburn show how the research of two scientists -- Scotland's John Gurdon and Japan's Shinja Yamanaka -- working independent of each other, is connected at its core.
Their field of research is, of course, stem cell manipulation and the transformation of nonspecific cells into the cells that form specific organs, and the further manipulation of taking cells from specific organs, isolating nonspecific elements and then transforming those into the specific cells that form organs other than the one from which the original cell was taken. Their work holds great promise for the healing of many ailments. It is a heady and fascinating subject that is, again, full of surprises.
Hot On The Documentary Festivals Circuit
It is not surprising, however, that SDI has, in addition to the Oscar short listing and Nobel Prize link, several documentaries that are positioned prominently at various international festivals in the upcoming months.
At IDFA's 25th anniversary edition, taking place in Amsterdam from November 14 to 24, 2012, I Am Breathing is one of sixteen films competing for the festival's prestigious Feature Length Documentary Award. Directed by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon, the film is an affecting biographical documentary about Neil Platt, a 33-year old Londoner who is terminally ill, has recently become a father, and writes his often humorous observations about life and his concerns on his well-followed blog.
Pablo's Winter, a film by Chico Pereira, a study about the traditional mining culture of Almadén, Spain, is premiering at Dok Leipzig and will be in IDFA's Student Documentary Competition. The film is being distributed by SDI.
Future My Love, which premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival this past summer, will be launched internationally in November at Copenhagen's CPH:DOX, where it will be in the Nordic Documentary Competition. Directed by Maja Borg, the impressionistic film is a haunting example of experimental hybrid storytelling about love and loss.
Cutting Loose, filmmakers Finlay Pretsell and Adrian McDowall's 29-minute documentary short about a prison inmate who cuts his fellow inmates' hair, is slated to screen at Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montreal (RIDM), as well as Anchorage, Inverness and Cucalorus Film Festivals in November.
For More Information
For more information about the Scottish Documentary Institute and these films, visit SDI's official Website.