Sonja Henrici is Co-director at Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI), which she joined in 2004. Prior to this, she worked in the administration of Edinburgh International Film Festival, and as freelance programmer and writer. She has a BA Hons (Media Studies) and MA (English Literature) from University of Sussex.
She is exec producer of annual talent initiatives such as Bridging the Gap and Interdoc (2008-12). She is co-founder and co-director of SDI Productions Ltd. She has produced and exec-produced more than 30 short documentary films, which have regularly screened in over 50 countries, including Sundance, IDFA, Tribeca, SxSW.
Her research, practice and teaching centres on creative documentary production and distribution, international financing, and new business and impact models in film.
In 2011 she raised funds to employ the first PMD (Producer of Marketing & Distribution) in the UK, a new role in independent filmmaking, investigating up-to-date technology and interventions needed at different stages of production and distribution.
In 2015 Sonja completed Amy Hardie’s new feature Seven Songs for a Long Life, a documentary in song. It is distributed by SDI throughout the UK during Hospice Care Week (Oct).
In 2013, Sonja produced and released I Am Breathing by Emma Davie & Morag McKinnon, a co-production with Danish Documentary, in association with Channel 4, DR Denmark, YLE Finland and Wellcome Trust. (World premiere in competition at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, IDFA 2012 – the leading launch pad for documentaries). The film went on a remarkable journey, opening to four and five star reviews in the UK and on all continents around the world through a global campaign on 21 June 2013, followed by an Oscar-qualifying US release in New York and Los Angeles – The Hollywood Reporter called it “among the year’s most moving films”.
In 2012 Sonja completed two other feature documentaries as producer, equally critically praised and selected for some of the world’s leading film festivals worldwide. Future My Love and Pablo’s Winter were distributed online.
Future My Love, by Maja Borg, a co-production with Sweden/Lisbet Gabrielsson Film / SVT – launched at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012 and was nominated for Best British Feature and screened as Best of Fest; Winner Dokufest Green Dox Award, released theatrically in the UK from 15 Nov 2013.
Awards and nominations: Runner up Audience Award, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013, Best Documentary Award Riverrun Film Festival 2013, Audience Award - Dokument 11, nominated for three Scottish BAFTAs 2013 for I Am Breathing (Best Director, Best Documentary, Audience Award).
Pablo’s Winter by Chico Pereira, won awards at DokLeipzig and IDFA 2012, and opened the Documentary Fortnight at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, and earning an IDA Award for Best Cinematography in 2013.