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Record edition for Sunny Side of the Doc


- More than 2000 professionals, multiple announcements and global issues took front stage at the international marketplace for documentaries

Record edition for Sunny Side of the Doc
The winners of the Sunny Side of the Doc 2015 (© Sunny Side of the Doc)

The 26th edition of Sunny Side of the Doc, the international marketplace for linear and interactive documentaries held in La Rochelle, closed on a positive note yesterday with record attendances. More than 2000 professionals from 57 countries – including 260 international decision-makers and 515 exhibiting countries – attended the four-day event (described by Yves Jeanneau, CEO of the event, in this interview).

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A wealth of international announcements punctuated this edition. French producer and distributor ZED unveiled an upcoming project with CITVC (the international distribution branch of the Chinese CCTV broadcasting group). Illinois Public Media have set up a fund to finance R&D projects across the globe, and France Télévisions have launched IRL (In Real Life), a broadcaster dedicated to novel ways of describing reality.

Sunny Side of the Doc also confirmed its status as the most important international marketplace for documentaries with a huge turnover and multiple co-production and distribution agreements, many of which with China, such as A Chef on Tour (a 6x26’ series - production TV Only and Chengdu Radio & Television), the documentary Flood, Challenging our Future (a Géorama TV and Heilongjiang TV production with 25 international partners) and Ways to School, a 5x26’ series produced by Winds and Cloudstone Productions, a Chinese version of Les Chemins de l’école (26x26’ and 3x52’) inspired by the successful  documentary On The Way to School [+see also:
film profile
 by Pascal Plisson.

Another noteworthy co-production is Family Matters (produced by LIC and CROP TV) and the 3D feature documentary Battle of Brushes by Pan Nalin (produced by Kafard Films and Beijing Flame Culture & Media).

Virtual reality and animation movies appear to be among the hottest trends at this edition, accompanied by fast changes and new challenges in the sector, particularly in terms of management and audience monetisation, brand content, social networks and crowd-funding.

Finally, the festival highlighted projects with a strong international potential such as the Global Issues category winner, Terror Studios, Inside the ISIS Propaganda Machine, directed by Alexis Marant (Canal+ and Capa Presse).

List of winners

- Best Global Issues project
Terror Studios, Inside the ISIS Propaganda Machine (Canal +/Capa Presse, France)

- Best EBU Science & Knowledge Project
Bugs: Nature’s Little Superheroes (a&o buero filmproduktion, Germany)

- Best Interactive & Transmedia Project
In Search of Max Hudan (Impakt Film, Poland)

- Best Mix Docs – Investigation Project
The Meddler (Finch, Australia)

- Best Natural History & Wildlife Project
Hoopoe II – The Big Journey (Kubefilm GmbH, Austria)

- Best Arts & Culture Project
Citizen Loewy: How a Frenchman Designed the American Dream (Les Films du Tambour de Soie, France)

- Best History Project
Leningrad Symphony (Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion Hambourg GmbH & Co. Kg, Germany)

- Sonuma Award
Ireland (What’s Up, France)

- Cezame Music Agency Award
The Dream Project (Gebrueder Beetz, Germany)

- K5600 Lighting Award
Bugs: Nature’s Little Superheroes (a&o buero filmproduktion, Germany)

- UCMF – Sacem Award for Best Film Score
Laurent Ferlet for the film Grizzly (co-produced by Keith Scholey, Adam Chapman & Disneynature)

- Docunexion Québec-France
Sea Is My Country (Once Upon & Les Films du Balibari) selected for RIDM / Doc Circuit Montréal 2015

- Sweet Spot Le Chaînon Manquant
En attendant Léo (Ladybirds Fictions)

- Sweet Spot Sunny Side of the Doc
My Dear Lines (CNEX Studio / Doc U Media & Culture Co., Ltd, China)

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(Translated from French)

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