The 29th Sunny Side of the Doc is all about “Culture in Motion”
by Bénédicte Prot
- The French international market will gather together over 2,000 documentary and factual-content professionals from around 60 countries in La Rochelle, from 25-28 June
The Sunny Side of the Doc international market for documentary and factual content is now ready for its 29th edition, which will take place in the beautiful city of La Rochelle, on the French Atlantic coast, from 25-28 June.
Over 2,000 industry professionals from all over the world (approximately 60 different countries will be represented), including around 350 decision makers and over 500 exhibitors, will come together for this key event that over the years has established itself as a “truly creative ecosystem for all those involved in the life cycle of linear and interactive documentaries”.
This year’s theme, “Culture in Motion”, reflects the significant number of documentaries on the arts, culture and cultural heritage which are being produced, especially since this type of content can now translate into complete experiences – as exemplified in the PiXii (standing for “Paths of Interaction, eXperiences in Immersion & Innovation”) showroom, which is back for a second edition to present various types of VR content, such as augmented reality, 360° video and 3D audio.
Amongst the highlights at this edition is a panel on the future shape of European public audiovisual services, as public broadcasters across the Continent are taking the digital transformation on board, and looking for viable economic models to remain relevant and stay true to their public-service mission. The Documentary Group and the Science & Knowledge Group from Eurovision (EBU) will gather together almost 60 programme managers from European public channels. They will present their top projects with international potential and discuss new strategies to support European documentaries in the face of global competition from digital players like Amazon and Netflix. In parallel, the New Platforms, New Broadcasters round-table, including a group of digital native operators, will focus on YouTube as a significant new player and outline the possible collaborations and co-productions between new broadcasters and documentary producers (storytelling, financial plans, better visibility of programmes, and so on). More conferences, as well as networking events, case studies and presentations by major broadcasters and institutions, are also on the menu.
Of course, a central part of Sunny Side is the pitching sessions, during which 42 original projects from 11 countries will be presented. The six sessions, spread across the duration of the event, are organised by theme: Natural History & Wildlife; Arts & Culture; Social & Human Interest; Science; Culture & Digital Creation; and History. Over 300 international decision makers will attend, and each team will have the chance to meet (also through targeted matchmaking) potential partners such as commissioning editors, buyers, producers and distributors.
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