Sunny-side-CMJNWith more than 2100 delegates, an increased exhibition area and a new space for virtual, augmented and mixed reality and 360° sound, the 28th edition of the international market for linear and interactive documentaries bears witness to an ambitious change in direction for digital media echoing the dynamism of the sector. The winning projects all have high international potential and strong storytelling such as for instance the best History project “The Rise and Fall of Bhutto” around the destiny of Zufikar Ali Bhutto.

La Rochelle, 22 June 2017The 28th edition of Sunny Side of the Doc, the international market for linear and interactive documentaries, which took place from 19-22 June 2017 at the Espace Encan in La Rochelle, brought together the documentary world in all its diversity. With an increase in the number of delegates, at 2100, including 350 international decisionmakers, Sunny Side welcomed professionals covering 60 nationalities. The 2017 edition also showcased more than 500 exhibiting companies on a record 113 booths.

Sunny Side of the Doc: a key spot for debating and developing coproductions

Sunny Side of the Doc is seen as an indispensable platform for international coproductions, and the 2017 edition has once again confirmed this: “Even if it is too early to announce them, the number of open negotiations and agreements between international producers and broadcasters is even higher than the previous editions” explains Yves Jeanneau, CEO of Sunny Side markets. “The History theme, which has taken on a particular resonance in these troubled times, has offered professionals valuable insights to the issues of developing co-productions of factual series of global interest. “ 2017 was also marked by the return of the Chinese delegation under the “Feeling China Pavilion” when some 40 Canadian producers had made the trip to La Rochelle. Following the success of Asian Side of the Doc 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand confirmed its strong presence in Sunny Side of the Doc 2017 with a delegation led by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Ministry of Commerce and International Trade Promotion (DITP). The announcement of the upcoming Asian Side of the Doc is expected to strengthen ties with this emerging factual market and provide further business opportunities.

Sunny Lab and PiXii: innovating for documentaries

As is the case every year, Sunny Lab played its role as a precursor highlighting and anticipating the major challenges in new forms of writing and broadcasting documentaries. The attendance of players such as Google News Lab, MK2 VR and UNI-VR underlines the relevance of the approach adopted for many years in the conference cycles. With the presence of Square Enix at Sunny Side of the Doc, never has the porosity between video games, animation and documentaries been so clear: “It is no longer appropriate to close a work into a genre”, explained Yves Jeanneau. “It is this mingling, where each fuels the other emulating production, be it documentary or not, giving an international, multi-screen dimension”.

For its first edition, PiXii (Paths of Interaction, eXperiences in Immersion and Innovation) kept its promise, inviting delegates and the general public to become immersed in the 500 m2 space of virtual reality, augmented reality and 360° sound. “The idea behind PiXii’s programme, a sort of showroom on level 1, is to make people reflect: producers who can find new circulation windows, historic broadcasters who have every interest in seeing the potential of works designed outside the small screen and creators who are constantly looking for content to enhance their investments”. Whether it is a question of discovering, on tablets or smartphones, augmented reality content thanks to 44 Screens, the NFB, the Réseau Canopé, or Mosquito, of sharing a collective immersion in the heart of a circular screen giving 360° interactive vision with the Cube, designed by Bachibouzouk and Black Euphoria, or revisiting the history of the Abbaye aux Dames in Saintes thanks to Narrative and its Musicaventure system, the documentary as presented by PiXii has clearly shown a capacity to renew itself. The two spaces for viewing 360° videos have finally enabled Sunny Side of the Doc to explore new perspectives for future editions.

Digital Culture: the documentary, a bridge to mediation

Always at the leading edge of coproduction opportunities, Sunny Side of the Doc has opened its market to the digital culture: museums, heritage sites, remarkable places, cultural centres, interpretation and tourist centres. “In the wake of what Art of Corner has done with the digitisation of the Musée Utrillo for a VR visit, others should seize the opportunities provide by the revolution in digital media and new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, 360° video to reach out to new audiences and enrich engagement in the offering”, said Christophe Salomon, who oversees this new market at Sunny Side of the Doc. More than 70 decision-makers from these location-based establishments, representatives from the Château de Versailles, the Musée du Louvre, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux Grand Palais, the Centre des Musées Nationaux, the Corderie Royale, the Aquarium de La Rochelle, Océanopolis and Biarritz Océan, among others, had an opportunity to discover the international market, learn to use PiXii’s systems,

Winners of the 2017 pitch competition: the coming of age of the documentary

With 7 pitching sessions, Sunny Side of the Doc has put the spotlight on the documentary of tomorrow: innovative, troubling, edifying and multi-platform. The winners now have an opportunity to concretise their projects.

Here is the winners list:

  • Best Science Project (co-organised by Eurovision) sponsored by Science&Vie TV
    The Hole – Windfall Films, United Kingdom
  • Best History Project sponsored by PBS
    The Rise and Fall of Bhutto – Bew Corp, Spain
  • Best Digital Creation Project (co-organised by RIDM) sponsored by the Bell Fund
    Invisible, Mortaza’s Odyssey – Small Bang, France
  • Best Asian Stories Project
    China’s Forgotten Daughters – Han Meng, China
  • Best Wildlife and Nature Project (co-organised by Wildscreen)
    Rewilding - Bonne Pioche Télévision,France
  • Best Arts and Culture Project sponsored by MUSEUM
    War of Art – Story House Productions GmbH, Germany/Norway
  • Best Social and Human Interest Project sponsored by RTBF/SRC Canada
    The Daughter Tree – Trinetra Productions, Canada
  • Best “High Transmission” Award
    The Captain’s Heart – House of Real, Denmark
  • Archive Valley Consultation Award
    Josephine Baker, An American In Paris – Kepler22 Productions, France
  • Groupe AB Award
    The Rise and Fall of Bhutto – Bew Corp, Spain
  • AP Archive Award
    The Rise and Fall of Bhutto – Bew Corp, Spain
  • Cézame Music Award
    The Rise and Fall of Bhutto – Bew Corp, Spain
  • MIADOC Award
    Abortion: The Pro-Life Threat – Capa Presse, France

Previews: broadcasters on the ball

In parallel to the opening to the public of La Rochelle of PiXii, Sunny Side of the Doc has, like every year, given audiences from La Rochelle an opportunity to see previews from TV channels (France 5, Histoire, Planète +, Arte) along with a favourite of Sunny Side “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” screened at the CGR Dragon. “The theme of History ran through the 4 days of Sunny Side of the Doc’s progrqmme, giving the edition an unprecedented scope and consistency. The many panels and keynotes – presented in the History Focus, at Sunny Lab, and at the Digital Culture Kick-starters – provided a better understanding on the importance of the documentary as a base for knowledge and understanding our past to envisage our future”, concluded Yves Jeanneau.

The next edition of Sunny Side of the Doc will be held from June 25 to 28, in La Rochelle Asian Side of the Doc will offer new networking opportunities from 7 to 10 November 2017 in Thailand with the support of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce Thailand (DITP).

Press Contact : Stéphane Malagnac – Prop’OSE Communication

+33(0)6 11 83 83 74