Fresh news from Chinese partners, by Yves Jeanneau

A few weeks before the 28th edition of the international documentary marketplace, Sunny Side of the Doc, CEO Yves Jeanneau went to China from April, 11 to 23 to nurture the network and stay updated to the fast evolution of the Chinese documentary market.


In order to foster new factual content development between Chinese and international producers/broadcasters, a 100m² pavilion branded “Feeling China” is set up for the first time at Sunny Side of the Doc, gathering Chinese TV and media representatives under one roof, in partnership with CICC.”

>>> More information on the Chinese companies under the ‘Feeling China” Pavilion, soon on our Blog.

You have dedicated your time for several years to develop international coproductions with China. What news do you bring back in the perspective of this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc ?

Yves Jeanneau: We have good news to share! Our main partner in China for many years – CICC (China Intercontinental Communication Center) succeeded in creating a Chinese delegation for 2017 Sunny Side of the Doc to gather all documentary broadcasters and main production centers under a same umbrella. This pavilion will be called “Feeling China” and it will occupy about 100m² in the exhibition hall of the Encan Space.

It is a big step forward, as it means that Sunny Side is now officially recignized as one of the 12 film events in the world where Chinese professionals are encouraged and supported to participate.

What are the Chinese TV Channels represented in this delegation?

Yves Jeanneau: Until now, 6 Chinese broadcasters have already confirmed their participation. Others are still in progress. We can already announce, out of the CICC, the presence on the market of 3 representatives from CCTV9, the Chinese public service channel entirely dedicated to documentaries, Documentary Channel of Beijing Television, which only broadcast High Definition documentaries, Golden Eagle Documentary Channel (Hunan Broadcasting System’s main country channel), Chongqing Broadcasting Group Documentary Media, Xi’an Cloud Vision Television Culture and Shanghai Wings Media, a unit owned by Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and a VR company Scentrealm.

Two provincial TV channels, Heilongjiang TV, a Sunny Side regular since 2013 and Zhejiang TV, serving Hangzhou City/Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, remain subject to confirmation.

All these Chinese channels represent thousands of documentary hours to be co-produced or bought, with business opportunities to be seized by Europeans producers and distributors.

Yves Jeanneau, president of the Jury at the West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF) held in Hangzhou (China), from 20 to 22 April 2017.

Yves Jeanneau, president of the Jury at the West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF) held in Hangzhou (China), from 20 to 22 April 2017.

During this trip in China, you attended the International Film Festival of Beijing and the West Lake Documentary Festival in Hangzhou. Did you discover new projects that could have an international potential?  

Yves Jeanneau: Yes and especially in Hangzhou. It was the first edition of the West Lake International Documentary Festival and I had the pleasure to head the Jury. We rewarded 5 films among which 2 were remarkable Chinese  documentaries!

“A YOUNG PATRIOT” directed by Du Haibin and produced by CNEX (who will be also attend Sunny Side this year) and “MAMA” directed by Jin Xingzheng. Both programems movies are documenting life in China today with talent and intelligence, following closely their characters and without any voiceover.

Last year saw a fall in the Chinese participation. Is it going to be their big comeback in La Rochelle from June 19 to 22?

Yves Jeanneau: Yes, sure thing! The “Feeling China” pavilion is a concrete and very positive sign of the increasing interest of Chinese companies for France and Europe. Besides, the number of Chinese people learning French is high rocketing. Also, productions lead by Heilongjiang TV with Georama TV, for instance, (Deadly Depths) or Mona Lisa Production (Planet Sand) were big international coproductions successes! This will help to initiating new collaborations.