Sunny Side of the Doc Wraps, Unveils Pitch Winners


The 33rd edition of Sunny Side of the Doc has drawn to a close and revealed the 2022 pitch winners.

The event gathered together more than 2,000 participants from 67 different countries, 1,100 accredited companies and almost 400 international decision-makers from leading broadcasters, streamers, foundations, sales agents and other investors from across the globe. It also welcomed delegations from Spain, Italy, Canada, South Africa, Finland and China, which was able to take part thanks to Sunny Side’s hybrid dimension.

Mathieu Béjot, director of strategy and development at Sunny Side of the Doc, said: “We are delighted that we were able to bring together international industry leaders this year to celebrate and champion the genre, which in recent years has experienced both a greater audience demand and increased difficulties in terms of financing and production. The documentary genre is recovering from the health crisis more slowly than others. We must now find spirited ways to collaborate internationally, to be able to meet new partners, not only for funding opportunities but also for the creative side too. This is the challenge for a marketplace like Sunny Side of the Doc and what also makes it so important for the sector.”

The Best Global Issues Pitch went to She (Italy), produced by Antropica. The winner of the Best Wildlife & Conservation Pitch was The Big Little Things, produced by Saint Thomas Productions (France) and Red Nature Films (South Africa). The Factory’s Basement, from Grifa Filmes (Brazil), won the Best History Pitch; and Ayahuasca, produced by Ey Up Films (United Kingdom), won Best Science Pitch.

Jacob’s Journey, produced by Infinite Frame Media (Canada), was dubbed The Best Immersive Experiences Pitch; while The Hidden Eye, produced by Wanda Films (Spain), was named Best Arts & Culture Pitch. The Best Digital Na(rra)tive Stories Pitch was won by A Very Hot Summer in New York City, from Binge Audio (France). The Best New Voices Talent Hub named Nothing Called Home, produced by Maurice & Morrise (United Arab Emirates), the winner.

New Voices was the central theme for Sunny Side’s 2022 program. The New Voices included emerging talent from all age groups (such as filmmakers making their first or second film, or new and less experienced producers), as well as industry professionals from underrepresented communities and countries.

Tom Koch, VP of PBS International, sponsor of the History Pitch, said: “PBS International is proud to continue its sponsorship of the History Pitch at Sunny Side of the Doc. In the face of the enormity of world events, history programs are absolutely essential, vital and deeply needed.”

Alongside Sunny Side, the 6th edition of PiXii welcomed an audience to 15 different experiences combining virtual reality, augmented reality and apps. More than a thousand festival attendees got involved in the immersive experiences at such heritage sites as Tour De La Chaîne (Centre Des Monuments Nationaux), the Natural History Museum, Musée Du Nouveau Monde, La Rochelle city hall, Maison Henri II (Centre Intermondes), Saint-Sauveur church, the forecourt of the Espace Encan and the Tourist Information Centre.

Stéphane Malagnac, head of innovation and PiXii Festival, said: “Thanks to technology and the different works presented as part of the festival, we were able to reach an even wider audience than those accustomed to traditional documentaries. The immersive approach elicits more emotion, understanding and empathy from the audience. The user becomes an actor in and truly lives the experience. And that’s why this year’s program has offered many unforgettable highlights.”

The 34th edition of Sunny Side of the Doc will take place from June 19 to 22, and the 7th edition of PiXii Festival will begin on June 17.