#StorytellingMatters Interview with... Dolores Emile, Manager, Unscripted and Doc Series France at Netflix

Sunny Side of the Doc 2021 aims at helping bring to light talents and stories which question, engage and impact.Through a series of #StorytellingMatters interviews, discover the vision of our most influential partners in the international documentary ecosystem.

Be together! Please introduce yourself and tell us briefly what your company’s main objective is at Sunny Side of the Doc.

I'm Dolores Emile and I joined the Netflix France team 6 months ago as Manager, Unscripted and Doc Series France. Previously, I spent 4 years at Vice media (TV & studios) as General Manager, in charge of French productions, programming and marketing, as well as 8 years within the TV division of the NRJ group, first on the program acquisition side, then as Marketing & Communication Director.
First of all, we are delighted to participate in the 2021 edition of Sunny Side of the Doc because it will be an opportunity to share Netflix's strategy and editorial vision for documentaries. That's why it was important for us to have producer partners, such as Philippe Levasseur from Capa and Paul Martin from Box to Box Films, at our side, to explain our approach to developing a project, from pitch to delivery. I would also like to emphasize our commitment to supporting and revealing new talent, whatever their background and experience, by allowing them to fully express their creative vision through documentary.

Be positive! What has been your greatest professional accomplishment over the last 12 months ? What led to this success, despite the pandemic?

It's great to see that documentaries interest a wider audience. In 2020, according to our Year in Review report, the French people spent twice as much time watching documentaries compared to 2019. Proof that our French households are not only looking for entertainment but also for information on a wide variety of subjects.
Among the keys to a documentary's success: the story itself determines the length and format, and we encourage risk-taking in the way the story is told. We also have incredible flexibility because we are not subject to the constraints of TV, which sometimes require commercial breaks or limited running times due to programming windows. This unique environment allows us to support our partners' creative vision. Some documentaries that we could mention: Room 2806: The Accusation ; Who Killed Little Gregory ; Anelka: Misunderstood and Tiger King. 


Be inventive! What new strategies are you looking to develop in order to attract international partners as well as provide engaging content in 2021/2022 ?  

We launched original documentaries in January 2014 with The Square, convinced that it would appeal to our households and it was. We've never stopped innovating to stay relevant. We will continue in the same vein: a decentralized decision-making process, several channels of validation and a lot of freedom given to the directors and producers we collaborate with.

Our priority is to develop French documentaries that will appeal to our French households. Thanks to Netflix’s strong international dimension, stories easily travel across borders and engage an international audience.    

Be aware! To that extent, what will make a good documentary pitch/encounter for your organisation this June ? What’s the best way to reach out and start co-creating ?

What makes a good documentary is above all a good story and good characters! A story that has shaped our society and that it is important not to forget, but also a story carried by charismatic characters. This is what we expect from a pitch. Any talent can come to us with a project. Our approach is quite open. And, if we're interested in the project, we strive to give the creators the support they need to share their stories with as many people as possible.

Our goal is to entertain our households with the best films, series and documentaries. In practice, contacting me is pretty simple, just send me an email and a few lines that present the idea, the project and the approach!   

Be inclusive! How is your organisation stepping up to the challenge of fulfilling a mandate for a diversity of voices and a more inclusive pipeline of upcoming storytellers across the entire production process ?

At Netflix, we focus on encounters: France is full of talents with various experiences and backgrounds, who have stories to tell. We are convinced that the documentaries and stories made by diverse production teams are the ones that will have the most impact and will travel the most beyond our borders. This is why we are committed to French schools and associations that reveal the talents of tomorrow, such as Les Gobelins, La Femis, Kourtrajmé, CEEA and 1000 visages. These partnerships take the form of financial support via scholarships for example, but also training in the audiovisual industry through skills sponsorship programs where we dedicate part of our time to this support (e.g. workshops, coaching sessions on oral expression and pitching, etc.).    

France  |  documentary  |  Interview  |  #SSD21  |  Storytelling Matters  |  Sunny side of the Doc 2021



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