Pitches & Awards at Sunny Side of the Doc

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 highly coveted pitching sessions and targeted matchmaking happening at Sunny Side of the Doc and Global Pitch, projects in development or in production have been presented to international decision-makers and had the chance to meet potential partners such as commissioning editors, buyers, producers and distributors.
The international jurys have selected the best pitches for awards in cash and in kind endowed by our sponsors.
 
Follow their global journey through our Observatory Programme available here

Global Pitch 2021

During two days of pitch sessions (2 – 3 February), a selection of 12 investigative and current affairs projects which help us to understand the present-day world have been presented to a panel of top-level decision makers.

The Global Pitch Award, endowed with € 3,000 by our sponsors Real Stories and Off the Fence, plus 2 full passes for the next edition of Sunny Side of the Doc 2021 went to:

THE HUNGARIAN PLAYBOOK

Directed by: Bence Máté
Produced by: Florian Schewe, Film Five (Germany)

The Hungarian Playbook follows the heroic struggle of a handful of young journalists against the propaganda machine of prime minister Viktor Orbán, which is becoming a role model across national borders. They are insiders who turned against the system.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

real stories

“We are committed to creating and sharing documentaries that bring important issues to light and make positive impacts on the world. In 2020, we published “Road To Roxham”, a film co-commissioned with the CBC, joining refugees and asylum seekers travelling from around the world, through the USA and into Canada, often at great risk. We were also home to the YouTube Originals “Trapped”, which investigates the iniquities of the cash-bail system in America. We believe in the power of addressing urgent problems through human stories that engage a broad audience, create empathy and lead to pressure for policy change.”

Paul Woolf, Executive Editor of Real Stories

 

off the fence

“I believe now, more than ever before, television has the power to inspire us. It allows us to feel deeper and connect to issues that once may have seemed so far removed for our everyday lives. Investigative documentaries that challenge the narrative are becoming even more important in our search to find solutions and create a better world for the future. Audiences are ready and thriving for stories that give us hope and opportunities to act.”

 
Loren Baxter, Head of Acquisitions, Off the Fence

Sunny Side of the Doc 2020

BEST HISTORY PITCH

KOZAK

Produced by: Dot TV & Films, Ireland
Author: David Burke

An award sponsored by PBS INTERNATIONAL
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury’s word

“The jury members decided to select KOZAK because we were heartened to see a fresh story highlighting personal memory in Latin American history. It is told through a subjective lens, using never-before-seen material, including access to the filmed testimony of the main character. We hope the Sunnyside History Award will help to bring this story to fruition and we look forward to seeing it when it is completed.” 

BEST SOCIAL ISSUES PITCH

ROMA (WORKING TITLE)

Produced by: Moon Man, Ukraine / Tangerine Tree, The Netherlands / Final Cut For Real, Denmark
Author: Olha Zhurba
Winner of the Sunny Side of the Doc Award at East Doc Platform 2020

An award sponsored by RTBF
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury’s word
“We decided to give the Best Social Issues Pitch award to a project that spent six years with its young and charismatic protagonist in order to gain a great intimacy that creates a deep connection: ROMA is a coming of age story following an Ukrainian teenager through rough and turbulent times – living on the streets, drifting and minor crimes. The clear visual concept, the non-linear storyline as well as the very subtle score already testify a capturing, convincing and sensitive story that will go beyond its microcosm.”

BEST HISTORY PITCH

ANCESTRAL SECRET VR

Produced by: Galgo Storytelling, Chile
Authors: Maria Jose Diaz, Francisca Silva 

An award sponsored by INA
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury’s word
“We, the jury members are amazed by all the imaginative pitches for this session which seemed crafted with passion and joy. We decided to award the project Ancestral Secret VR since we think this project carries so much deep meaning. It takes us on a poetic and magical journey which sheds a very promising humanistic light on people and their stories.”

BEST ARTS & CULTURE PITCH / WEST LAKE IDF AWARD

THE MAYOR, ME MUSSOLINI AND THE MUSEUM

Produced by: Road Television, Italy / Illégitime Défense, France
Authors: Piergiorgio Curzi, Sabika Shah Povia
Director: Piergiorgio Curzi

An award sponsored by WEST LAKE International Documentary Festival
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury’s word
“The jury members decided to award the project «The Mayor – Me, Mussolini and the Museum“.
In this era where historical legacy is being manipulated for political propaganda, it is more than ever important to find a way to address even the most uncomfortable parts of our history. The strength of the proposal, its out-of-the-ordinary and humorous way to address a very serious topic and our conviction that culture can have a strong political impact led us to this decision. With this Sunny Side of the Doc Pitch Award we want to support the film team in the development of their ambitious endeavor.”

 

ARCHIVES STORYTELLING AWARD

A PERFECT SPY

Produced by: Little Big Story, France
Author: Rémi Laine

An award sponsored by HISTOIRE TV
Prize: 2,500 euros in cash

Elisabeth Hagsted – Head of Content and Broadcast, Histoire TV
“The team will use rare audio archive in order to revive world events of the end of World War II and during the Cold War through the lens of a fascinating personal destiny. It is an example of creating a play between audio and video footage, and using an eminent personality, John Le Carré, as an expert non only on espionage but also on storytelling, thus elaborating a captivating mix of angles and narrative means.”
 

BEST SCIENCE PITCH

BEHIND LUCY

Produced by: Somadrome, Spain
Author: Luis G. Juanes

An award sponsored by Knowledge Network
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury’s word
“The jury members decided to award this project because… BEHIND LUCY is a unique, character-driven project with great access that showcases a diverse team of high-profile scientists. It is one of the most ambitious science films coming out of Spain in a long time, and we feel this contribution will go a long way to raise its international profile.”

EAST DOC MARKET AWARD

PURE UNKNOWN (Social Issues)

Produced by: Jump Cut, Italy / Sisyfos Film, Sweden / Amka Film Production, Switzerland
Authors: Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo

Prize: Two accreditations and 2-night accommodation for East Doc Platform 2021. A project selection for one-to-one meetings with decision makers in Prague.

Quote from Zdeněk Blaha, Manager of East Doc Platform:
“We would like to support a project that is looking at our society from an unexpected angle: through a crusade of one woman, respected Italian forensic scientist, who would like to find answers to the most basic question: who were all those people who are now unidentified, unknown bodies in city morgues? And more importantly, why don’t the authorities care about them?”

DAE TALENT ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD

PURE UNKNOWN (Social Issues)

Produced by: Jump Cut, Italy / Sisyfos Film, Sweden / Amka Film Production, Switzerland
Authors: Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo

Prize: 2 Free membership for a creative team to DAE  and up to 4 bespoke mentoring sessions

DOX BOX MENTORING PRIZE

SYSTEM TERROR (History)

Produced by: Tondowski Films, Germany
Author: Astrid Schult

Prize: 5 hours of tailored online feedback and mentoring with an experienced consultant over the course of 6 months for the producer and director of the selected project.
 
 

AIDC AWARD

LONG LIVE MY HAPPY HEAD (Social Issues)

Produced by: Melt the Fly, Scotland
Authors: Austen McCowan, Will Hewitt

Prize :
– Up to two AIDC 2021 All Access Passes for the winning team (valued at AUD$1040 each)
– 4-night accommodation (twin share option available) (valued at approx AUD$1000)
– Full access to all conference sessions, social events, and most networking events
– Complimentary waiver of submission fees to the FACTory (AIDC’s centrepiece public pitching event) (valued at up to AUD$60 per project submission)
**please note, this does not guarantee a place in the forum.
– The opportunity to submit projects to Cut to the Chase, AIDC’s program of curated one-on-one meetings between producers and buyers
 

MEETING POINT VILNIUS AWARD

ROMA (Working Title – Social Issues)

Produced by: Moon Man, Ukraine / Tangerine Tree, The Netherlands / Final Cut For Real, Denmark
Author: Olha Zhurba

Prize: Automatic selection to the 2021 edition of Coming Soon, the Work-in-progress pitching session of the industry event Meeting Point Vilnius. MPV will cover travel, accommodation and accreditation for the selected project + accreditation for a second representative of the project.
Value of the award: 700€
 
Quote: For its capacity to touch a current issue as the loliness with an harsh but at the same time intimate glance into the life.
 

IMZ AWARD

E. IS FOR ESCOVEDO: THE SHEILA E. STORY (Working Title – Arts & Culture)

Produced by: Walnut & Rose Pictures, United States
Authors: Jennifer Steinman Sternin, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon

Prize: 2 accreditations for the 2021 edition of Avant Première, Berlin – value 1200€
 
 

DOK.FEST MUNICH

ROMA (Working Title - Social Issues)

Produced by: Moon Man, Ukraine / Tangerine Tree, The Netherlands / Final Cut For Real, Denmark
Author: Olha Zhurba
Winner of the Sunny Side of the Doc Award at East Doc Platform 2020

Prize : 2 accreditations for the 2021 edition of DOK.Fest Munich
 

MOVIES THAT MATTER FILM FESTIVAL

PURE UNKNOWN (Social Issues)

Produced by: Jump Cut, Italy / Sisyfos Film, Sweden / Amka Film Production, Switzerland
Authors: Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo

Prize : 2 accreditations for the 2021 edition of Movies That Matter Film Festival, Amsterdam
 

HOT DOCS

LONG LIVE MY HAPPY HEAD (Social Issues)

Produced by: Melt the Fly, Scotland
Authors: Austen McCowan, Will Hewitt

Prize: 2 accreditations for the 2021 edition of Hot Docs Festival, Toronto
 

DOK LEIPZIG

PURE UNKNOWN (Social Issues)

Produced by: Jump Cut, Italy / Sisyfos Film, Sweden / Amka Film Production, Switzerland
Authors: Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo

Prize: 2 accreditations for the 2020 edition of DOK Leipzig
 

WCSFP

BEHIND LUCY (Science)

Produced by: Somadrome, Spain
Author: Luis G. Juanes

Prize: 2 accreditations for the 2020 edition of WCSFP, Strasbourg
 

WILDSCREEN FESTIVAL

THE TIGER MAFIA (Wildlife)

Produced by: HOOK Film, Switzerland
Authors: Karl Ammann, Laurin Merz

Prize: 2 accreditations for the 2020 Wildscreen Festival, Bristol
 

JACKSON WILD

THE TIGER MAFIA (Wildlife)

Produced by: HOOK Film, Switzerland
Authors: Karl Ammann, Laurin Merz

Prize: 2 accreditations for the 2020 Jackson Wild Summit, Austria
 

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