24 - 27 JUNE 2019 / LA ROCHELLE - FRANCE

Jury & Awards 2018


Each year, Sunny Side of the Doc brings the most exciting concepts for documentary films, series, short formats, VR and interactive media to the international non-fiction market.

Through 6 highly coveted pitching sessions and targeted matchmaking, a selection of projects in development or in production have been presented to +300 international decision-makers and had the chance to meet potential partners such as commissioning editors, buyers, producers and distributors.

The international jury selected the best pitches for awards in cash and in kind.

            Sunny Side of the Doc 2018 winners

JURY 2018


  • Nick Ware, Aster Media, UK
  • Mara Gourd-Mercado, RIDM, Canada
  • Arild Erikstad, NRK, Norway
  • Pierre Olivier Bardet, Idéale Audience, France


  • Emma Parkins, Alleycats, UK
  • John Farren, Alleycats, UK
  • Stephen Hunter, Shunter Media, USA
  • Josette Normandeau, Idéacom International, Canada


  • Paul Pauwels, EDN, Denmark
  • Hind Said, Bellota Films, France
  • Isabelle Christiaens, RTBF, Belgium
  • Jean Pelletier, SRC, Canada



  • Carlyn Staudt, Love Nature, Canada
  • Andrew Solomon, ORF, Austria
  • Clare Birks, Oxford Scientific Film, UK
  • Ralf Quibeldey, NDR, Germany


  • Nick Ware, Aster Media, UK
  • Mara Gourd-Mercado, RIDM, Canada
  • Kay Meseberg, ARTE G.E.I.E., France
  • John MacFarlane, USA
  • Maïté Labat, Musée du Louvre, France


  • John Farren, Alleycats, UK
  • Ruth Berry, First Act Film, UK
  • Richard Maroko, Groupe AB, France
  • Devin Karambelas, WGBH -2018 SMASH, USA

Awards 2018



Arts, Culture & Heritage Pitch


An award sponsored by West Lake International Documentary Festival

2,000 euros in cash

Xie Hanfeng, Vice Executive of West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF)


From West to East, ” Culture in Motion” is always in action. It is a great honor to be here, under the sunshine of La Rochelle, to introduce the West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF). IDF stands for “I-Documentary-Fact”. The event promotes a path of humanitarian values through non-fiction content. This festival held in Hangzhou (China), offers a whole platform for screenings, broadcasting, awards and pitching. Establishing the IDF Award annually at Sunny Side of the Doc aims to testify our belief in the need to document the world, supporting filmmakers all over the world. 

History Pitch

An award sponsored by PBS

2,000 euros in cash

Tom Koch, Vice President of PBS International.

Despite our globalized world, forces and impulses remain that threaten to tear us apart. Well researched, thoughtful, unbiased history films can be one essential tool to better understand the nature of our world, where we have been and how we arrived at this place in time. PBS International believes that supporting strong history films is a profound obligation and we are more than pleased to sponsor the Sunny Side of the Doc History Prize.

Social & Human Interest Pitch

An award sponsored by RTBFCBC Radio-Canada

2,000 euros in cash  

Marc Bouvier, Manager of the Documentary Unit, RTBF

If, like in the CITES ranking of endangered species, we had to rank journalism, it would probably appear between “endangered” and “vulnerable”. In an age of instant news and social media, it becomes a privilege for the editorial teams to be able to afford the luxury of long, rigorous, difficult and costly investigations. Yet, it is impossible to stop the continuous flow of the drilled barrel of information. In order to foster, even modestly, initiatives which contributes to make our world a little less Trumpean is almost a matter of survival.


Jean Pelletier, Senior director of television current affairs and documentaries, 

Radio-Canada is proud to support the mission of Sunny Side of the Doc, because without this annual rendez-vous, we would not be able to join key partners to our mission of producing quality documentaries all over the world.

Natural History and Wildlife Pitch

An award sponsored by Love Nature

2,000 euros in cash

Carlyn Staudt, EVP, Love Nature Programming & Development

Committed to connecting fans all over the world with the beauty and wonder of nature, Love Nature is honoured to support Sunny Side of the Doc’s Wildlife Pitch. This competition gives natural history producers an important platform to share their content, while putting the spotlight on up-and-coming talent and great storytelling. We’re a proud sponsor of Sunny Side of the Doc and honoured to grant this award to this year’s best pitch.

Culture & Digital Creation Pitch

An award sponsored by Sunny Side of the Doc

2 accreditations to attend Sunny Side of the Doc 2019 including 2 projects/programmes registrations

Yves Jeanneau, CEO of Sunny Side of the Doc

As for the digital industry, which is revolutionising our professions and practices, we’ll be shining the spotlight on such Digital Cultures in Motion in this pitch session and in our PiXii space (Paths of Interaction, eXperiences in Immersion & Innovation), that can be found inside the Musée Maritime, a minute away from Sunny Side of the Doc’s main hall.

Science Pitch

An award sponsored by Science & Vie TV

2,000 euros in cash

Richard Maroko, CEO Associate in charge of channels edition, acquisition
and licensing manager of Science & Vie TV

Science & Vie TV – which was created from the eponymous magazine published by Mondatori Group – succeeded in establishing itself as a reference in science and discovery broadcasting. With more than 40 hours of exclusive programmes produced for the channel every year and a particular attention paid to the  selection of new content, Science & Vie TV has become a natural partner for producers on this subjects and is very proud to sponsor the Science Pitch at Sunny Side of the Doc 2018.


 Co-organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)


Special Prizes 2018



The SMASH18 Award

Full pass to the 2018 Science Media Summit & Awards in the Hub (SMASH)
+ 4 nights of lodging at The Freepoint Hotel in Cambridge

Lisa Samford, Executive Director, Jackson Hole WILD

From the infinitesimal to the infinite, science plays a profound role in our daily lives.  More than ever, we recognize the importance of communicating science to public audiences and policymakers, and are thrilled to be celebrating the finest science storytellers at Sunny Side of the Doc 2018.

The Groupe AB Prize

A pre-buy of 15 000 € granted to the film producer. The film will also be broadcasted by Groupe AB as the first broadcaster of the project in France.

Marie de Maublanc, Head of Documentary Channels & Productions, Groupe AB

Groupe AB is delighted to award a prize to one of the best film documentary projects pitched during the Sunny Side of the DOC. This expresses its involvement in the creative process in the documentary field. It also shows its ambition to be part of the very start of factual productions, which are given the greatest visibility on its Tv channels.


An invitation (accreditation + transport + accommodation) to participate to FIPADOC 2019 and its programme “Find your French Partner”

Christine Camdessus, Chief Delegate of FIPADOC

With this prize, FIPADOC is happy to support a foreign project oriented “arts and culture” in its search for a French co-production partner. The winning project will be invited in Biarrtiz to take part in the “Find your French Partner” programme at FIPADOC 2019.