Staff news

Documentary heads south by southwest

A documentary by a filmmaker based in Edinburgh College of Art is to be showcased at one of the world’s biggest film and music festivals.

Finlay Pretsell’s Time Trial was screened at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on 10 March.

He directed the film as part of his work at the College’s Scottish Documentary Institute.

Global exposure

Since its launch in 1987, South by Southwest (SXSW) has developed an international reputation for showcasing up-and-coming musicians, filmmakers and artists.

The bi-annual festival has given a platform to bands such as The White Stripes, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys before they were mainstream names.

Intimate insight

Time Trial gives an intimate insight into the final races of Scottish cyclist David Miller, including his last encounter with the Tour de France.

The former professional road racing cyclist was banned in 2004 after admitting taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The film premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November 2017, where it was met with critical acclaim.

We are very proud that Finlay’s first feature documentary Time Trial will be screened for its USA premiere at SXSW. It was selected out of 1050 submissions, on the grounds of its innovation, energy and bold voice.

Noe MendelleDirector of the Scottish Documentary Institute

Nurturing talent

Located within Edinburgh College of Art, the Scottish Documentary Institute provides a link between academia and the film industry.

It allows students to work with directors, film editors and producers and helps promote student documentaries to international film festivals.

Invaluable opportunities

As well as producing and promoting films, the SDI runs the Bridging The Gap scheme, which guides several young film makers through the process of creating 10 minute documentaries. The scheme has launched several promising careers.

Every June it hosts a pitching forum during the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The event encourages fresh documentary film makers to hone their ideas in front of a panel of experts.

Resolutely international in its approach, the SDI has produced films that have screened at the Sundance, Cannes and Melbourne film festivals.

Related Links

Scottish Documentary Institute

Study Film and TV at Edinburgh College of Art

Time Trial

SXSW