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Sunny Side CEO Yves Jeanneau Passes Away


Yves Jeanneau, Co-Founder and CEO of Sunny Side of the Doc, has passed away yesterday at the age of 69. It is with great regret and sadness that we learned of Yves Jeanneau's passing, especially since our association, and many members of EDN, enjoyed a long-time working relationship and friendship with Yves. To his family, friends and collaborators, we would like to offer our sincere condolences.

Yves Jeanneau (1950 - 2019)

EDN board member Jan Röfekamp, who has known Yves for many years, said in a statement: "Very sad news today of Yves Jeanneau’s passing. Personally I have known Yves since I started in this business. We are the same age, he is just two months older than me but both on the 16th, we always joked…I have known him as a producer, as doc chief at French TV and since 30 years as the motor behind Sunny Side. EDN had a close and warm relation with Yves, his team and Sunny Side. It is almost unthinkable: a Sunny Side without Yves, rarely we have seen such a highly motivated driver at the wheel of a major documentary event. He will be deeply missed by all of us. Yves, rest in peace."

A pioneer for international co-productions, Yves Jeanneau always showed unfailing support for documentary and for those who perfected the craft. For the past 30 years, he brought together in one place broadcasters, decision-makers, investors, distributors, content creators and producers from the world over.

He was a director, producer at and managing director of the French production company Les Films d’Ici from 1984 to 2000. He then became head of documentaries at Pathé Televisions (2000-2001), before managing the documentary department at France 2 (2001-2005). He then returned to documentary production at Telfrance Group (2006 to 2010). His production credits include Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s Murder on a Sunday Morning, which won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

His long, valuable experience enabled him to establish a global professional network in factual programming, bringing one of the more astute perspectives to the documentary world.

Yves was dedicated to championing creative documentary content in all its forms, and actively campaigned for many years to build bridges between producers and international broadcasters, linear documentaries and digital experiences, and even integrating cultural mediation venues into the heart of the marketplace.

With a strong passion for Asia, he worked towards professionalising the industry and building an Asian documentary market with Asian Side of the Doc, which has taken place in China, Thailand, Japan, Korea and Malaysia, building successful creative partnerships between Asian and European industry professionals.

Since celebrating Sunny Side of the Doc’s 30th anniversary – which was one of the most memorable editions in terms of recognition and attendance figures, Yves Jeanneau had already imagined the programme for the years to come. Teeming with ideas, he wanted to open up to new talent and to as many people as possible – without losing this unique marketplace’s DNA. He wished to put the theme of History at the heart of the next festival edition, which will take place on 22nd to 25th June 2020, in La Rochelle.

There is no doubt that history in turn shall remember Yves Jeanneau’s passionate dedication and commitment to all documentary genres. A ceremony open to all will be held on Thursday 21st November 2019 at 3:30pm at Père-Lachaise Crematorium (71 rue des Rondeaux – 75020 Paris, Metro Gambetta).

The official announcement by Sunny Side of the Doc can be found here.


On behalf of EDN and its members, we would like to offer our most sincere condolences to Yves Jeanneau's family, friends and collaborators.

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