Tuesday 16 October 2012

Four Scottish films at world’s biggest documentary festival and The Perfect Fit on shortlist for Oscar® nomination

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences published a list which includes The Perfect Fit, a Scottish short film directed by Tali Yankelevich and produced by the Scottish Documentary Institute

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) announced an unprecedented number of Scottish documentaries in its programme.

Edinburgh: Tuesday 16th October 2012 - The Perfect Fit, directed by Tali Yankelevich, is included in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ eight contenders for the field Documentary Short Subject, of which three to five will earn Oscar® nominations.

This award-winning Scottish production was shown in New York, alongside other short documentaries, in a week-long showcase in August. This theatrical run qualified the 10-minute film to be eligible for a submission to the Academy.

The Perfect Fit looks at professional ballet through the eyes of a shoemaker who pounds his soul out making each pair perfect, trying to ease the burden on the dancers’ feet. Creative Scotland and BBC Scotland invested in this film made by SDI Productions and Teebster.

The film was produced as part of the Scottish Documentary Institute’s Bridging the Gap programme which enables young talent to break into the industry. SDI Productions is based at the Edinburgh College of Art, and Tali Yankelevich is also a graduate of ECA.

Finlay Pretsell, the film’s producer, commented: “This is brilliant news and a great recognition of how we’re bringing Scottish documentaries to the world. It’s a huge boost for Tali’s career. We know this is not a nomination yet, but we’re certainly keeping our fingers crossed.”

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on 10 January 2013.

Coinciding with the Academy’s publication, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has announced its 2012 programme today (Friday), including four productions involving the Scottish Documentary Institute. IDFA is the world’s pre-eminent festival for creative documentaries.

Most notably, I Am Breathing by Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon will have its world premiere in IDFA’s prestigious Competition for Feature-Length Documentary. Exploring “the thin space between life and death”, the film follows Neil Platt who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, a terminal illness affecting around 5,000 people in the UK. Neil invited the filmmakers to follow him through his final months, while he’s trying to sum up his life in a message to his baby son.

I Am Breathing was co-produced by ECA-based SDI Productions and Danish Documentary, with investments by Creative Scotland, Danish Film Institute, Wellcome Trust, MND Association and the former UK Film Council. Broadcasters involved in the production are Channel 4, DR (Denmark) and YLE (Finland).

Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, commented: “Creative Scotland congratulates the documentary filmmakers in competition and wishes them every success. It is testament to the depth and quality of filmmaking talent working in Scotland today that they are selected for one of the world's most prestigious film festivals.”

IDFA will also show Pablo’s Winter directed by Chico Pereira, which will have its world premiere later this month at Dok Leipzig, one of the longest-running documentary festivals in the world. Presented as classic black-and-white cinema, Pablo’s story is one of “nicotine, mercury, and matters of the heart,” a homage to a retired Spanish miner against a backdrop of decay.

Professor Robin MacPherson, director of Screen Academy Scotland where the film was produced, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to see Chico's film competing for documentary honours in both Amsterdam and Leipzig. It is especially gratifying that three more of our graduates played key roles in its realisation, demonstrating how our focus on creative collaboration is really paying off."

In addition, two short documentaries made as part of this year’s edition of Bridging the Gap will have their international premiere at IDFA in Amsterdam: Polaris, also by Chico Pereira, follows Filipino fishermen in the North East of Scotland, and Pouters, by Paul Fegan, chronicles the fight to become Glasgow’s “doo fleein” (pigeon flying) champion. Both films were first shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June.

It was also announced today that Future My Love, which celebrated an acclaimed world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year to much acclaim, will have its international premiere at CPH:DOX, the innovative documentary festival in Copenhagen. Maja Borg’s film is a poetic road trip through personal and social utopias. Filmmaker Magazine wrote about Future My Love at EIFF: "Everyone loves this beautiful, poetic, important movie, and it seems likely to be one of the films that 2012 will be remembered for."

More about the films, including trailers:
‘Oscar’ and ‘Academy Awards’ are registered trademarks and service marks owned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Scottish Documentary Institute is an internationally recognised research centre at Edinburgh College of Art, part of of the University of Edinburgh and complemented by SDI Productions Ltd, a production and distribution company.

Bridging the Gap, supported by Creative Scotland, is one of the leading documentary new talent initiatives for cinema and broadcast in the UK. Consistently picking up awards, BAFTAs, special mentions and festival screenings in over 40 countries worldwide, it offers a creative training programme alongside production. Blog posts about Pouters and Polaris

Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries. Our vision is that Scotland will be recognised as one of the world’s most creative nations – one that attracts, develops and retains talent, where the arts and the creative industries are supported and celebrated and their economic contribution fully captured; a nation where the arts and creativity play a central part in the lives, education and well-being of our population.

The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and is a chance to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland.

Screen Academy Scotland is a Skillset Film & Media Academy in partnership between Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College of Art.

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