The initiative aims to bridge the gap between training/graduation and a first commission by offering Scottish-based filmmakers the opportunity to work closely with Scottish Documentary Institute and make 10 minute documentaries.


For our 13th edition of Bridging the Gap we are looking for short films inspired by ‘women’; a theme we believe is at once topical and universal.

This is an opportunity for filmmakers of all genders to be part of the conversation and make a visually innovative, character-led story with ‘women’ as a starting point. We welcome filmmakers to think laterally and creatively about the subject, embracing the scope it affords to tell a story that can speak to us all.

10 ideas will be short-listed on the basis of the proposal and supporting visual materials. In the following weeks they will be developed and honed further through weekend workshops run by international filmmakers and leading industry professionals. The 10 projects will then be pitched to a panel of experts, who will commission the final 4 films.

As well as a cash budget of up to 8K (plus in-kind production and distribution support) the 4 selected filmmakers will receive further training and mentoring over six months to create vibrant contemporary stories. The films are intended for distribution in cinemas and festivals and to be delivered by May 2016.


Deadline for applications: Sunday 4th October
(selected projects will be announced on Friday 9th October)


You must be Scottish-based to be eligible for Bridging the Gap.
We are especially interested in filmmakers from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.
We cannot accept applications from students in full time education.

Short-listed participants are expected to attend a series of compulsory workshops (see our Guidelines & Information for all relevant dates): please note that the first workshop will take place on Sat 17th & Sun 18th October 2015
The Commissioning Pitch will take place on early December 2015.
The films are expected to be delivered by May 2016.

All workshops will take place in Edinburgh, at the Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh), home of the Scottish Documentary Institute.


Application and participation to Bridging the Gap are free.

For any further question, please email

For this new season, SDI team will hit the road in September, hosting a series of workshops across Scotland to help filmmakers prepare their submissions. Join us!

  • Saturday 5th September – Lerwick
  • Monday 7th September – Dumfries
  • Tuesday 8th September – Inverness
  • Wednesday 9th September – Edinburgh
  • Tuesday 10th September – Glasgow

Bridging the Gap is supported by Creative Scotland & the Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh)