Innovation, XR and immersive content at the heart of Sunny Side of the Doc 2023!

La Rochelle, 14 March 2023 - Sunny Side of the Doc, the June event dedicated to the international documentary community (19-22 June, La Rochelle), now unveils its Innovation section for the 2023 edition with a series of events entirely dedicated to innovative experiences and new narratives. PiXii, the international festival for digital cultures which is free and open to all, will now be held in autumn, taking place from 19 to 22 October in La Rochelle.

Sunny Side of the Doc 2023

Sunny Side of the Doc 2023 is expanding and enhancing the innovation section of its programme for industry professionals. The objective is to showcase international creation and innovation, and the event in June will be a new major opportunity for producers, studios, cultural institutions, creators, broadcasters and decision-makers to gather together.

With this new setup, the focus on Innovation will take place throughout the whole four-day marketplace. Experts from around the world will gather together to take part in conferences, masterclasses and case studies, addressing the different challenges faced by the industry concerning innovation and in particular XR. Some of the topics include: Who are the different audiences for immersive experiences?; Challenges surrounding audio adaptation: from documentary to podcasting and vice-versa; What are the creative challenges for new narratives? Producers and creators take to the floor.

The question of audiences will be the focus of attention this year, alongside distribution, adaptation, immersive exhibitions, impacts and financing. In addition, a selection of this year’s best projects will be shown in a VR area.

"By separating the general public's activities from the professional sector, our ambition is to respond as well as possible to the expectations of each of these targets., More than ever, for this 2023 edition, we wish to multiply the bridges between linear documentaries, digital experiences and all the innovative forms of real-life narration. These bridges are used by a growing number of players in the sector, and Sunny Side of the Doc must reflect, accompany and anticipate these developments.” explains Mathieu Béjot, Director of Strategy and Development at Sunny Side of the Doc.

Sunny Side of the Doc’s call for projects opens on 16 March and will run until 6 April. By submitting a project to one of the pitching sessions, project holders will embark on a journey featuring mentoring from industry experts, to having access to an experienced and diverse professional audience, through financial, creative and business co-production opportunities. This year – and for the very first time – the seven pitching sessions will welcome digital and XR documentary projects, bringing innovative approaches right to your fingertips. For more information, click here.

PiXii Festival public event now held in autumn

For its 7th edition, PiXii Festival - organised by Sunny Side of the Doc – becomes an event exclusively for the general public in search of the best of cultural immersion. The festival will now take place each year in autumn, across La Rochelle in some of the city’s most iconic sites, and will expand across the local Charentais region. Since its creation in 2017, PiXii Festival has brought together 2,000 festival-goers every year looking to try out new immersive experiences.

“In 2023, PiXii Festival is committed to highlighting documentary creation in all its innovative forms as well as its creators and storytelling professionals,” says Maïté Labat, Innovation & Digital Experiences Programmer in the Sunny Side of the Doc team. “PiXii Festival aims to play a leading role in the discovery and dissemination of and access to digital cultures for the general public, maintaining an ongoing relationship with La Rochelle’s historic and natural heritage. The festival’s international programme is aimed at diverse audiences, from adults to families, young audiences, novices and enthusiasts, as well as budding creators and school groups.”

As part of the new setup, PiXii Festival continues its action with year-round events introducing, educating and developing young people’s understanding of the visual image. The festival has developed an annual educational programme for the 2023 to 2024 season for the entire local conurbation and beyond. In partnership with education professionals, artistic and cultural education workshops will be offered to schools around impact themes, focused on introducing works, documentaries, immersive technology and transmission. There will also be a special focus on developing actions in community and cultural centers, and increasing access in disadvantaged communities.