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Sunny Side of the Doc reaches its 30th birthday


- Over 2,000 professionals from 50 countries will visit La Rochelle between 24 to 27 June for the 30th edition of the international market for documentary and narrative experiences

Sunny Side of the Doc reaches its 30th birthday
Touch Wood by Balint Revesz and Angus MacInnes, one of the projects selected for the pitching sessions

Hot on the heels of the CNC’s annual study on the state of the documentary (read the details here), the 30th Sunny Side of the Doc is now underway, assembling until 27 June more than 2,000 professionals (decision-makers, financiers, distributers, content creators and producers from all over the world) hailing from 50 different countries.

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This year, the international market for documentary and narrative experiences will be placing a special focus on Germany, one of the most active territories in the sphere of documentary co-production and distribution. Under the aegis of German Films, a pavilion will gather together members of the producers’ association AG DOK and at least 12 production companies, including Vidicom Media GmbH, a&o buero filmproduktion, FechnerMedia, New Docs, Längengrad Filmproduktion, Karbe Film, Coin Film, G-Film, Vision Airways and 4ED1. Round tables dedicated to specific topics are likewise on the agenda, chiefly "Film, TV and online platforms: Which are the best strategies for documentaries?" (whose speakers will include Christiane Hinz of WDR and Diego Buñuel of Netflix), as is a workshop intitled "World of Wonders - Encounters with the Blockchain", organised by Creative Europe Germany, and a matchmaking session coming courtesy of the German Federal Film Board, the FFA.

Meanwhile, the ever highly-anticipated five thematic pitching sessions (Science/ Social & Human Interest /History /Arts & Culture/Natural History and Wildlife) will spotlight a selection of 36 projects hailing from 18 countries, all in search of funding. These works will be assessed by 300 decision-makers, programme officers, buyers and international distributers. Of particular note this year is the special emphasis placed on the Science category.

For the third year running, Sunny Side of the Doc will also play host to PiXii (Paths of Interaction, Experiences in Immersion and Innovation), a niche market featuring a selection of 15 installations hailing from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. It will focus on original forms of storytelling, user experience and the transmission of knowledge by way of digital technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, binaural sound, connected objects, artificial intelligence and 3D relief.

As is now customary, this 30th edition of the festival, overseen by producer Ellen Windemuth (Off The Fence) in the role of honorary chair, will also see a variety of broadcasters (Arte, France Télévisions, Canal+, etc.) provide details of their future line-ups, while Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation by Barak Goodman and Jamila Ephron will be screened in a European premiere, ahead of the anniversary celebration party.

European projects selected to participate in the pitching sessions are as follows:

Social & Human Interest

Touch Wood (Hungary)
Directors: Balint Revesz, Angus MacInnes
Production: ELF Pictures

Nenets vs Gas (France)
Director: Sergio Ghizzardi
Production: Little Big Story

Olympic Halftime (Czech Republic)
Director: Haruna Honcoop
Production: D1film

La face noire des énergies vertes (France)
Directors: Jean-Louis Pérez, Guillaume Pitron
Production: GAD


The Trap. 40 Years of War in Afghanistan (Germany)
Directors: Marcel Mettelsiefen, Mayte Carrasco
Production: PROGRESS, LOOKSfilm

Letters Without Signature (Germany)
Director: Christian Schulz
Production: NEW DOCS

La guerre des Allemands – Dans l’œil du cyclone (France)
Director: Jérôme Prieur
Production: Roche Productions

Decolonisations (France)
Directors: Karim Miske, Marc Ball, Pierre Singaravelou
Production: Program33

Arts & Culture

The Subharchord – A Child of the Golden Age (Norway)
Director: Ina Pillat
Production: True Fiction

Kubrick par Kubrick [+see also:
film profile
Director: Gregory Monro
Production: Temps Noir

Escape to the Silver Globe (Poland)
Director: Jakub Mikurda
Production: Silver Frame, Stanislaw Zaborowski

The Paper Architect (Italy)
Director: Emiliano Galigani
Production: Berta Film

Soul Sisters (UK)

Director: Peter von Puttkamer
Production: Espresso Media International

Jean-Pierre Melville, le dernier samouraï (France)
Director: Cyril Leuthy
Production: Roche Productions


Planète Méditerranée (France)
Directors: Gil Kébaïli, Laurent Ballesta
Production: Les gens bien production

Scat Man (Austria)

Director: Ruth Berry
Production : Terra Mater Factual Studios

Kromdraai – Les enfants du berceau de l’humanité (France)
Director: Cédric Robion
Production: Ex Nihilo

La fabrique de l’ignorance (France)
Directors: Pascal Vasselin, Franck Cuveillier
Production: ZED

La science des émotions (France)
Directors: Jessy Picard, Sonia Ruspini
Production: Effervescence label

Sapiens, le nouveau départ (France)
Director: Olivier Julien
Production: Arte France

Incendies géants : enquête sur un nouveau fléau (France)
Directors: Nicolas Koutsikas, Cosima Dannoritzer
Production: Georama Tv

Le mystère des arbres (France)
Director: Emmanuelle Nobécourt
Production: Hauteville Productions

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Your CO2 Footprint (But Were Afraid To Ask) (Germany)
Director: Johan von Mirbach
Production: a&o buero filmproduktion

Natural History & Wildlife

The Tamed God (Spain)
Directors: Juan Antonio Rodriguez Llano, Kalyan Varma
Production: Wild Stories Distribution

La quête du sauvage (France)
Director: Jean-Charles Granjon
Production: Bluearth production

Kelp The Mysterious Underwater Forest (France)
Director: Stéphane Begoin
Production: Films à Cinq

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(Translated from French)

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