21 - 24 JUNE 2021 / EDITION N°32

Call For Projects

Pitch your documentary project at Sunny Side of the Doc 2020!

Be in with a chance of pitching in one of the most internationally renowned marketplace for documentary and narrative experiences across all platforms, in La Rochelle, from 22 to 25 June 2020.

Each June, Sunny Side of the Doc creates unique opportunities for the most exciting non-fiction concepts to be pitched directly in front of 300 top-level international buyers, commissioners and distributors in a live event setting.

Through 6 highly coveted pitching sessions and targeted matchmaking, a selection of 36 projects receive critical insights, find potential partners and seal financing deals.

Submissions are now closed.

Update on #SSD20 Submission Guidelines:
Alternative Visual Materials Accepted & Deadline Extended

In response to the massive disruption brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of keeping the documentary community’s activities alive, the submission deadline is extended until april 23.

While submitting a trailer from your documentary project remains an important requirement in the processing of applications for online pitching sessions, the current crisis situation and the difficulties encountered by many in producing such an asset led us to review and adapt this particular rule for the Sunny Side of the Doc 2020 Call for Projects.
Thus, any alternative visual material (moodboard, production stills, visual record, sketches) allowing a better understanding of the relevance and creativity of your project is now accepted, in the absence of a trailer.
This will not affect the eligibility of your submission.


Sunny Side of the Doc is now seeking proposals for one-offs, feature-length documentaries, series, short formats, new media narratives and multi-platform content projects with global appeal in a vast array of genres:           

  • History : As part of 2020 HISTORY Focus, 12 historical stories will be selected!
    6 projects will be pitched publicly and 6 more will be presented in bespoke one-to-one meetings with potential buyers. We are looking for projects that combine quality, originality and innovation from the world’s ancient history to immediate history and adopting an heritage-minded approach to historical events and access to collective memory.
    Particular attention will be given to innovative series projects.

  • Science : High-quality concepts  with international co-production and distribution potential.
    We’re looking for innovative narratives making science more accessible and attractive to larger audiences.

  • Social Issues : Inspiring projects providing a strong point of view for a global understanding of contemporary international issues related to geopolitics, environment, society, finance & economy…

  • Arts & Culture : Ambitious and original projects exploring any aspect of arts and culture – be it an artist’s portrait or an historical/genre specific documentary. Open to performing arts, cinema, architecture, fine arts, cultural heritage programs and pop-culture, including native web creations and cross-platform storytelling.

  • Wildlife : More than wildlife stories, we’re looking for powerful projects supported by strategic outreach and impact campaigns aiming to educate ourselves and spark social change.

  • Digital Experiences : Projects inspiring new narrative forms and exploring immersive storytelling, interactivity through digital technologies to engage audiences with real stories: animation, augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming, installations…
    Particular attention will be given to multi-platorm projects.

The 2020 Call for Projects is open to all talents, producers, directors, digital creators, games & interactive designers with the ambition to join the international documentary market.
We accept submissions from all countries – including emerging markets – as long as they are written in English.           
Projects in development or production will be assessed and shortlisted based on the following criteria:     

  • The strength and originality of the story
  • The international potential
  • The unbiased quality of information
  • The evidence of social impact
  • The commitment to diversity and inclusion


NEW! Pitch Mentoring to gain invaluable feedback and avoid stress
As in previous years, each selected project will have unique access to tailored one-to-one meetings with leading decision-makers to get straight into live creative and financial discussions.
In 2020, as we innovate online, our friends and mentors* will be coaching the teams in re-inventing and preparing their pre-recorded 7′ video pitches for the market, through two online sessions arranged between May 18-29. All final video-captured pitches will be sent to organizers by June 8

* Jan Rofekamp (Films Transit International) – Pauline Mazenod (Windrose) – Margje De Koning (Movies that Matter) – Brigid O’Shea (DOK Leipzig, DAE) – Anaïs Clanet (Wide House) – Harriet Armston-Clarke (TVF International)

  • A pitch consists in a 15-minute presentation of a new factual programme in front of leading buyers and financers in the field (7’ for the project pitch including trailer or any visual support and 8’ for live Q&A with decision makers).
  • Tailored one-to-one meetings with key decision makers are organized for pitchers selected to get straight into creative and financial discussions.
  • The best pitched projects will be awarded by our sponsors, in cash and/or in kind (list of awards to be confirmed).


Register Online*

Purchase an accreditation including a project registration for the event on our e-shop


Login to the Community Space with your professional account to register your project online and validate it.

Submit to Pitch

After validating your project, remain on Sunny Side’s Community Space to submit it to the relevant pitching session.

*: This rule does not apply to subscribers of the Single Pitch Submission offer available until April 23, 2020. 



  • Participant must have previously registered for Sunny Side of the Doc 2020.
  • Projects should be in advanced development: at least 30% of the budget already confirmed by third parties.
  • At least one confirmed partner and provide proofs of the confirmed participation of all partners (LOC): broadcaster, distributor, supporting fund, foundation, crowdfunding, new platforms, museums, brands…
  • If aiming at completion funding, you can already be in production or postproduction.
  • A 2-4 minute trailer (or any visual support) with English subtitles is required.

IMPORTANT: In order to qualify for the Sunny Side’s pitch selection, entrants must comply with THE MAJORITY of the eligibility requirements mentioned above.


All submissions must be made in English. You need to upload the following elements online logging into Sunny Side Community space with your personal account:

  1. Synopsis (300 characters spaces included);
  2. Treatment (700 characters spaces included);
  3. Project’s picture HD (300 dpi);
  4. Trailer with english subtitles (max. 5 GB) – Formats accepted: MOV, AVI, MP4, MPEG-2, 3GP, AAC, FLV (M4V is not accepted) or any visual support accepted (moodboard, production stills, visual record, sketches)
  5. PDF file including: synopsis, budget, funding plan, commitment letter(s), long treatment, short biographies of the author/director and presentation of the producer;
  6. And all information you consider useful in order to help the jury assessing your project.
Deadline to submit : 23 APRIL 2020 (Midnight, Paris Time)


4 june 2020

Final deadline to book a virtual booth.

15 JUNE 2020

Final deadline to register a project / program in the screening room.

22-25 June 2020

Get registered before opening day on 22 June.

For further information, please contact us directly.

We strongly advise you to contact our team prior to submission:

Patrizia Mancini
International Development Executive
Doriane Boisseleau
Sales Officer

Contact our friendly sales team