Through their Bridging The Gap scheme, the Scottish Documentary Institute have commissioned many excellent and interesting short creative documentaries. This evening they are presenting a selection of short documentaries from their own extensive and impressive back catalogue and several international shorts that have caught their attention. The event is taking place at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and is part of the eclectic programme at this year’s Edinburgh Short Film Festival.
The first documentary of the seven shorts which make up the programme is Ma Bar, directed and produced by Adrian McDowall and Finlay Prestell. This short follows weightlifter Bill MacFadyen as he narrates his inspiration for lifting weights at the age of 73. It is an engaging story that makes weightlifting look intriguing and captivating.
Next up is Last In The Line, directed by Blair Scott and Dylan Drummond. This is another Scottish short and looks at the culture of travelling people. The focus is on singer Shelia Stewart as she recounts the language and traditions of travellers and threat of these traditions dying out.
Commodity City, directed by Jessica Kingdom, is a short set in the Yiwu International Trade Mart in China. The film is a sequence of shots filmed at the market and presents the different products and people in a distinctive and sometimes comedic method.
A highlight of the screening is Swan, directed by Lindsay Brown. This is the longest film in the programme and takes an intimate look at a young girl who lives with autism. The film is powerful and gives an insight into the personal nature of autism and how it can affect an individual and their family.
The Big Lie (directed by Peter Everett) combines archive footage and more recent interviews. The story looks at the Scottish volunteers during the Spanish Civil War and how the media reports conflict.
The Devil and the Holy Water is a film set in Ethiopia directed by Diego Maria Malara. Here we see the act of exorcism that occurs in the country. The director was on hand to give a Q and A after the screening, during which we found out that the film was created as part of his research into anthropology.
The concluding film is Night Shift, directed by Ruth Reid. Here we see Anne Wallace, a lady who follows her dreams and acquires a double-decker bus to travel around Glasgow in order to give assistance to vulnerable women. As with all the shorts in the programme, it is beautifully shot and tells a unique and powerful story.
The Edinburgh Short Film Festival continues until Saturday 11 November with various screenings, workshops and events celebrating short films. The Scottish Documentary Institute have a presence at many film festivals around Scotland throughout the year and regularly present screenings, masterclasses and workshops.