Pitches & Awards at Sunny Side of the Doc

The 2021 winners unveiled

This year, 42 projects from 18 different countries that stand out due to their originality, international potential and continuous search for new ways of storytelling have been presented during six themed sessions and tailored one-to-one meetings with support from our partners: RTBF for the Global Issues Pitch, PBS International for the History Pitch, Science & Vie TV for the Science Pitch, West Lake International Documentary Festival for the Arts & Culture Pitch, The Redford Center and Love Nature for the Wildlife & Conservation Pitch and Ubisoft for the Immersive Experiences Pitch.
 
Follow their global journey through our Observatory Programme available here.
Access the 2021 official selection here.
All you need to know about this year's PiXii Festival selections here.

Jurys

Global Issues



Harriet-Harmston Clarke - TVF
Nadja Tennstedt - Dok Leipzig
Gaspard Lamunière - RTS

Wildlife & Conservation



Monika Kossits - ORF
Jacqueline Farmer - Saint Thomas Production
Sylvia Schmoeller - Red Bull Media House

History



Stephanie Fischer - Off the Fence
Arne Birkenstock - Fruitmarket Arts and Media
Anne Grolleron - ARTE

Arts & Culture



Cleo Veger - Dogwoof 
Valérie Montmartin - Little Big Story
Emma Cahusac - BBC

Immersive Experiences



Leen Segers - LucidWeb, Women in Immersive Tech Europe
Elizabeth Markevitch - Ikonotv.art
Laetitia Bochud - Virtual Switzerland

Science



Lilla Hurst- Drive
Fabrice Estève -YUZU Productions
Yuri Sudo - NHK

New Voices Award



Jarmila Outrova - Emerging Producers Jhilava
Julie Tolza - CLPB Rights
Amelia Hanibelsz - Tell2C Productions LLC

Grand Prix PiXii



Marialya Bestougeff - CENTQUATRE
Georges Kalomenopoulos - 2K Films
Christian Lachenal - Auteur, scénariste

2021 Award Winners

BEST GLOBAL ISSUES PITCH

THE CLICK TRAP

Produced by: Polar Star Films (Spain)
Directed byPeter Porta

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

Jury's word
"The jury members selected The Click Trap because they were confident of the producers' treatment of this subject, which has broad international appeal and sits very comfortably in investigative current affairs slots around the globe." 

BEST WILDLIFE & CONSERVATION PITCH

THE TIGER SPIRIT - THE RACE TO SAVE MALAYSIA'S LAST TIGERS

Produced by: Clearwing Foundation For Biodiversity (Poland)
Directed byPaolo Volponi

An award co-sponsored by Love Nature & The Redford Center
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury's Word
"The jury chose this project for several reasons. First of all, the urgency of the conservation issue at hand and the engagement of the film making team with the issue. We felt that this was an important story to highlight and present to a wide audience. Then, we particularly appreciated the personality and approach of Marta, the Polish biologist. We felt that the project could benefit greatly from the award."

BEST HISTORY PITCH

THE ULTIMATE JOKER

Produced byVision House Productions (Poland)
Directed byKrzysztof Dzieciolowski

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

Jury's Quote
"An ambivalent and thrilling personality which reflects European politics from fascism through cold war to the new arised populism of today. A story that should be told. We are looking forward to a film that corresponds in form and narrative to this multi-layered and tragicomical figure.“

BEST SCIENCE PITCH

MUSIC'S SUPERPOWERS

Produced byCPB Films (France)
Directed byJacques Mitsch

An award sponsored by Science et Vie TV
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Jury's word
"We felt that the quality of presentation was exemplary - It presented as a truly original and engaging idea, executed with infectious humour, clarity and creativity. It contained a clear indication of the style of production in addition to the range of topics that they aspire to cover, giving us a true sense of what the completed film will be.
Music is often relegated to the outer realms of schedules, yet this project so convincingly illustrates, it is at the heart of humanity and this year, more than ever, plays a vital role in our lives.
By exploring music from a scientific point of view with the input of neuroscientists and musicians it enables us to better understand why music moves us so extensively both on an emotional and physical level."

BEST IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES PITCH

NOIRE

Produced by: Novaya (France)
Directed by: Stéphane FOENKINOS, Pierre-Alain GIRAUD

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

Jury's word
“The jury members decided to select Noire because of:
- AR storytelling is still quite new and the hommage/story lends itself perfectly to leverage this new technology. With the award, we wish to show our trust to help them to excel in this.
- The cinematographic/scene-setting sounds very promising.
- Unique 3D audio is taken into consideration by a renowned sound designer.
-  Professional team already in place, with experience in theatre performance & storytelling via HoloLens.”

BEST ARTS & CULTURE PITCH

THIS IS NOT A KANGA

Produced byWonder Maria Films (Portugal)
Directed by: João Nuno Pinto and Fernanda Polacow

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

Jury's word
“The jury members decided to select this project because we believe celebrating these artists is a story that will speak to audiences around the world."

GRAND PRIX PIXII

LADY SAPIENS, THE EXPERIENCE

Produced by: Little Big Story (France)
Coproduced by: Ubisoft, France Télévisions (France)
Author: Camille Duvelleroy
Technology: Virtual Reality

Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Jury's word

"We, the jury, distinguish Lady Sapiens as it best combines storytelling and artistic merit, as well as it masterfully uses of digital technology to create an unforgettable immersive experience, by keeping in the same time the balance between Arts and Science on one hand, Education and Entertainment on the other hand."

NEW VOICES AWARD

GIRLS' STORIES

Produced by: Pinot Films (Poland)
Directed by: Aga Borzym

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

Jury's word

"The jury members unanimously decided to select the project "Girls' Stories" for the "Netflix New Voices" award because we felt the filmmakers' gained intimate access, and their storytelling approach is both creative, quirky, innovative and poetic. With the use of mixed media, animated sequences, and humor, their pitch brought a universal “ coming of age” story to life. Above all, we wanted to support these passionate emerging female filmmakers who are connected to the story and the culture from which the story originates. We can't wait to see the final film and wish them all the best on their storytelling journey."

USHUAIA IMPACT AWARD

SOUND OF ICE

Produced byOslo Pictures (Norway)
Directed by: Tommy Gulliksen

An award sponsored by Ushuaïa TV
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Jury's word
"We decided to award the Ushuaia TV IMPACT Prize to SOUND OF ICE. We felt that the Sound of Ice is a wonderful and very ambitious project. It deals with climate change in a most original way, through art, emotion and experimentation with a committed artist and his audience. The film will certainly have a significant and positive impact on a large audience. We also found the project visually appealing."

MEETING POINT VILNIUS AWARD

THE ULTIMATE JOKER

Produced by: Vision House Productions (Poland)
Directed by: Krzysztof Dzieciolowski

An award supported by Meeting Point Vilnius
Prize: Free accreditation for Meeting Point Vilnius 2022 and 2-night accomodation for one representative of the film.

Jury's word
"For the smart, dense picture of a character who represents a perfect balance of historical meditation on past, and the vivid burden of the current political and human circumstances."

EAST DOC MARKET AWARD

NO MERCY - THE FEMALE GAZE

Produced by: Tondowski Films (Germany)
Directed byIsa Willinger

An award supported by Institute of Documentary Film
Prize: 2 industry passess to East Doc Platform (producer-director), individual meetings at the East Doc Market & 2-night accommodation

Jury's word
"We are delighted to award a project that is coming with a very original approach towards gender issues and offering a unique, highly artistic view on the creative power of female directors."

BEST TALENT HUB CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

CINEMA UNDER SIEGE

Produced by: Novi Film (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovia)
Directed by: Srđan Šarenac

An award sponsored by Institute of Documentary Film
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Jury's word
"Cinema under siege: from the strong title to the trailer, to the presentation, to the importance, to the strong archive, animation and stories from the protagonist, convinced us that this will turn out to be a film that tells the history of a war from an unique angle;  that should not be forgotten and has to be remembered today."

BEST TALENT HUB WOMEN IN DOC

TO EMBODY

Produced by: Les Films du Tambour de Soie (France)
Directed by: Noëlie Giraud

An award sponsored by Arte
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Jury's word
"The jury members decided to award the project TO EMBODY for its impressive and moving display of intimacy and its strong collaborative approach. We were instantly captivated by the delicate yet creative nature of this unique story world and applaud the intelligent and powerful representation of those whose bodies too rarely make it to the screen."

BEST WORK IN PROGRESS: CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

72 HOURS

Produced by: Playtime Films (Belgium)
Directed by: Anna Savchenko

An award sponsored by Al Jazeera Balkans Documentary Film Festival
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

MOVIES THAT MATTER

WAITERGATE

Produced byZK Studio (Poland)
Directed by: Konrad Szolajski

A prize sponsored by Movies That Matter
Prize: 2 free accreditations for Movies That Matter 2022 and a 2-night accomodation.

WILDSCREEN FESTIVAL

ANIMAL NATION

Produced by: Rotating Planet Productions (Canada)
Directed by: Ari A. Cohen, Jesse Bochner

A prize sponsored by Wildscreen Festival
Prize: Full access Pass to the hybrid edition Wildscreen Festival 2022 + free year of membership (Small Corporate) to the Wildscreen Network
 

JACKSON WILD

OUR FOREST

Produced by: Lato Sensu Productions (France)
Directed by: Marc Dozier, Jérôme Bouvier, Quincy Russell, Hamid Sardar-Hafkhami, Mike Magidson

A prize sponsored by Jackson Wild
Prize: 1 full pass for 2021 Jackson Wild Summit
 

2021 Sponsors

GLOBAL ISSUES PITCH

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

Message from our sponsor
"Documenting the world that comes after, questioning it, confronting it... All these challenges force us to face up our responsibilities as media players. Covid or not, reinventing the world remains more relevant than ever." - Joffrey Monnier, Head of the Documentary Unit - RTBF

HISTORY PITCH

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

Message from our sponsor
"PBS International is proud to sponsor the History Pitch at Sunny Side of the Doc once again. This event is crucial in helping to fund stories that matter from independent filmmakers around the world." - Tom Koch, VP of PBS International 

SCIENCE PITCH

An award sponsored by Science et Vie TV
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Message from our sponsor
"Science et Vie TV is proud to support Sunny Side of the Doc by sponsoring its Science Pitch. This partnership is fully consistent with the ambitious strategy of the Mediawan group in terms of production and distribution of premium documentaries, covering strong themes within the genre." - Richard Maroko, Managing Director of Mediawan Thematics

WILDLIFE & CONSERVATION PITCH

An award co-sponsored by Love Nature & The Redford Center
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Message from our sponsor
“Love Nature is committed to telling heartwarming stories that also inspire a deeper knowledge of wildlife and nature. We believe that storytelling has the power to make meaningful connections between humans and the natural world. Supporting seasoned and upcoming production talent is a big part of that, which is why we are so pleased to sponsor the Wildlife and Conservation Pitch once again." - Carlyn Staudt, Global General Manager, Love Nature

WILDLIFE & CONSERVATION PITCH

An award co-sponsored by Love Nature & The Redford Center
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash

Message from our sponsor
“The Redford Center is honored to co-sponsor Sunny Side of the Doc’s Wildlife & Conservation Pitch alongside Love Nature. We know firsthand the power of documentaries to ignite action. As filmmakers and film supporters, we have seen the hope and positive change that documentary films inspire and relish the opportunity to partner with artists who are spotlighting diverse environmental stories that meet the urgency of this moment.” - Jill Tidman, Executive Director, The Redford Center

IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES PITCH

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

Message from our sponsor
“Living the stories so that they become memorable and enriching experiences: this is the promise of the works that are born today from the convergence of technology, culture and entertainment. This is also the mission of Ubisoft, which is happy to support the Sunny Side of the Doc and PiXii Festival Immersive Experiences pitches today." - Déborah Papiernik,  SVP New Business Development & Strategic Alliances, Ubisoft

ARTS & CULTURE PITCH

An award sponsored by IMZ
Prize: 3,000 euros in cash + 3 Accreditations for Avant Première 2022 (with a total value of 1,500€)

Message from our sponsor
"Documentary + arts programmes contribute deeply to cultural diversity. That's why the IMZ especially aims to support independent producers in pitching + co-production right from the start!“  - Katharina Jeschke, Secretary General, IMZ

NEW VOICES AWARD

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

Quote
"Diversity and inclusion unlocks our ability to innovate and to be creative. This is a cultural value at Netflix, and we know that inclusion behind the camera exponentially increases inclusion in front of the camera. That's why we are committed to supporting new talents and allowing people to discover the world through a different perspective." Lorraine Sullivan, Manager Creative Talent Investment and Development EMEA at Netflix

USHUAIA IMPACT AWARD

An award sponsored by Ushuaïa TV
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Quote
“I have been working with production companies for 15 years, trying to raise consciousness on environmental issues with one main goal : giving a voice to those who want to make a difference. For instance, I am proud we could work with Marie-Monique Robin several times, be a part of L’hypothese Zimov -that was awarded at Cannes Cinema- or of high end productions such as Mediterranée. I am also proud we coproduced Les artisans du changement, 15 years ago, when environment was not yet a mainstream concern. This is all part of the same story : move forward, make a difference.” Annabel Gain - Head of acquisitions and coproductions (Ushuaïa TV)

EAST DOC MARKET AWARD

An award supported by Institute of Documentary Film.

MEETING POINT VILNIUS AWARD

An award supported by Meeting Point Vilnius.

Prize: Free accreditation for Meeting Point Vilnius 2022 and 2-night accomodation for one representative of the film.
 

TALENT HUB CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

An award sponsored by Institute of Documentary Film
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Quote
I am very happy for our partnership with Sunny Side of the Doc. For us it’s a great way to introduce you to the new talents coming from Central and Eastern Europe and help them navigate through the European film market. Networking and international collaboration was always a crucial task for us – to stimulate cooperation that will bring the stories to life – and I believe that Sunny Side of the Doc could be the right place for the filmmakers to find new partners for their projects. ” Zdenek Blaha, Programme Director, Institute of Documentary Film 

WORK IN PROGRESS: EASTERN & CENTRAL EUROPE

An award sponsored by Al Jazeera Balkans Documentary Film Festival
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Quote
Since we started with broadcasting in November 2011, Al Jazeera Balkans (AJB) has been offering a new and exciting perspective in the regional media landscape. In almost 10 years, Al Jazeera Balkans became one of the biggest buyers and producers of documentary films in the Balkans region. With our 4th edition of AJBDOC, international film festival, we are continuing to “give voice to untold stories, promote debate, and challenge established perceptions.”  Edhem Fočo, Director of Al Jazeera Balkans Film Festival (AJB DOC)

TALENT HUB WOMEN IN DOC

An award sponsored by Arte
Prize: 2,000 euros in cash

Quote
"ARTE is committed to welcoming, encouraging and supporting talent in all its diversity. It is in this spirit that the channel has launched Et pourtant, elles tournent, a short documentary film competition for women directors, supported by Scam. Starting in December 2020 and ending in May 2021, the presidency of this contest has been entrusted to the cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu and the awards ceremony will take place in the fall. Nearly 800 films have been collected! An exceptional result that reveals the need for visibility and expression of women in documentary." - Elodie Font, commissioning editor, Culture & Society Unit, ARTE

MOVIES THAT MATTER

A prize sponsored by Movies That Matter

Prize: 2 free accreditations for Movies That Matter and a 2-night accomodation.
 

WILDSCREEN FESTIVAL

A prize sponsored by Wildscreen Festival
Prize:  Full access Pass to the hybrid edition Wildscreen Festival 2022 + free year of membership (Small Corporate) to the Wildscreen Network

JACKSON WILD

A prize sponsored by Jackson Wild

Prize:  1 full pass for 2021 Jackson Wild Summit

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