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Sunny Side of the Doc: New Submission Fees Due to COVID-19


Sunny Side of the Doc, the annual French documentary market place in La Rochelle, is calling for projects for its 2020 edition taking place from 22 to 25 June. As every year, Sunny Side will once again offer plenty of opportunities for compelling non-fiction concepts to be pitched in front of 300 top-level international buyers, commissioners and distributors in a live event setting. Some changes have been applied to the submission scheme, with new fees and online pitchings being introduced as a result of the ongoing Corona pandemic. The deadline for submitting projects is 16 April 2020.

Sunny Side of the Doc Venue: Espace Encan

In order to encourage filmmakers to participate in this year's edition of Sunny Side of the Doc, despite COVID-19, the Sunny Side team introduced a new submission fee of €90 and added in a statement: "If Sunny Side is maintained physically, this fee will be deducted from the regular pass. In the eventuality of the physical market being cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation, we will refund attendees fully. Basically the "Single Pitch Submission" enables to submit a project and be part of online pitching sessions in case of selection without incurring at this stage the total cost of registration in a physical event".

Filmmakers can submit their works directly at the Sunny Side website here.

Sunny Side of the Doc is seeking proposals for one-offs, feature-length documentaries, series, short formats, new media narratives and multi-platform content projects with global appeal. The main theme and focus for this year's edition are documentaries relating to "History" — filmmakers are welcome to submit for he history category but also for a number of other genres that are part of this year's pitching sessions:

  • History: 12 historical stories will be selected. 6 projects will be pitched publicly and 6 more will be presented in bespoke one-to-one meetings with potential buyers. We are looking for projects that combine quality, originality and innovation from the world’s ancient history to immediate history and adopting an heritage-minded approach to historical events and access to collective memory. Particular attention will be given to innovative series projects.
  • Science: High-quality concepts with international co-production and distribution potential. We’re looking for innovative narratives making science more accessible and attractive to larger audiences.
  • Social Issues: Inspiring projects providing a strong point of view for a global understanding of contemporary international issues related to geopolitics, environment, society, finance & economy…
  • Arts & Culture: Ambitious and original projects exploring any aspect of arts and culture – be it an artist’s portrait or an historical/genre specific documentary. Open to performing arts, cinema, architecture, fine arts, cultural heritage programs and pop-culture, including native web creations and cross-platform storytelling.
  • Wildlife: More than wildlife stories, we’re looking for powerful projects supported by strategic outreach and impact campaigns aiming to educate ourselves and spark social change.
  • Digital Experiences: Projects inspiring new narrative forms and exploring immersive storytelling, interactivity through digital technologies to engage audiences with real stories: animation, augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming, installations... Particular attention will be given to multi-platorm projects.

The 2020 Call for Projects is open to all talents, producers, directors, digital creators, games & interactive designers with the ambition to join the international documentary market.

Submissions from all countries are accepted – including emerging markets – as long as the submitted documents are written in English. Projects in development or production will be assessed and shortlisted based on the following criteria: The strength and originality of the story, the international potential, unbiased quality of information, evidence of social impact and the commitment to diversity and inclusion.

More information about the call and how to submit:

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