Sunny Side of the Doc to Take Place Under the Theme “Historic”


The theme of this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc event will be “Historic,” as it aims to explore international current affairs in regard to history.

Taking place June 19 to 22 at the Espace Encan in La Rochelle, Sunny Side of the Doc brings together producers, distributors, broadcasters and digital culture players and makers around numerous themes such as history, science, wildlife and natural history. Through seven pitching sessions, as well as targeted matchmaking, the event brings concepts for documentary films, series, short formats, VR and interactive media to the global nonfiction market.

“We’re experiencing a somewhat particular year politically, with the American presidential election, Brexit and even the upcoming elections in France and Germany,” said Yves Jeanneau, the CEO of Sunny Side markets. “During this time of elections, ideas, recollections, and stories have consequently resurfaced, along with the strong feeling that we must draw lessons from history. This simply highlights the importance of documentary film in our global political life.”

This year, Sunny Side of the Doc will host twice as many history project pitches, with six during public sessions and six during individual meetings with buyers. Also on the lineup: international distributors will be showcasing new history programs from around the world (during an opening event on June 19), a Master Class on archives detective work for Ron Howard’s documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years (on June 20) and a panel on the theme “Revamping History in the Age of Disruption” (also on June 20).

This year also sees Sunny Side of the Doc launch PiXii (Paths of Interaction, eXperiences in Immersion & Innovation), a new event showcasing new functions for digital technology. Jeanneau commented, “The documentary genre is thriving with activity, which often creates the echo chamber of future functions. Also, we always offer a program full of forward-thinking conferences as part of Sunny Lab.”

The Sunny Lab four-day program will address important topics such as the short-film format, VR distribution and profitability, or even how VR and journalism can be used together.

“All these effervescent ideas and innovative technology are going to allow us to bring both fresher creative output and new audiences to La Rochelle,” added Jeanneau. “I consider this to be the best news of this year’s market!”