Sunny Side of the Doc 2024 Highlights

Sunny Side of the Doc returns to La Rochelle from June 24 to 27, 2024, celebrating its 35th edition with a renewed ambition to shape the future of documentary filmmaking. This year's program underscores its role as a premier platform for international co-production and innovation in the documentary genre.

Over four days, the event will gather creators, producers, buyers, and broadcasters from around the world to discuss current issues and participate in exciting pitch sessions. This year, particular emphasis is placed on women in the industry, contributions from African and South American countries, emerging technologies, and international collaborations, providing a dynamic exchange platform for the entire community.



For the first time, four exceptional keynotes will feature visionaries from the documentary industry. These sessions will provide inspiring perspectives on the industry's challenges and opportunities, especially in the context of technological advancements and new creative trends. They will offer a space for reflection to turn changes into opportunities and anticipate the future of documentaries.

Pitch Sessions

Designed to help promising projects find international co-production partners, Sunny Side of the Doc's pitch sessions are always highly anticipated. The 42 best documentary projects, selected from around 320 submissions from over 60 countries, will be pitched daily to key international industry decision-makers, providing insight into sector trends.

Australia - Act 2

The focus on Australia, initiated in the previous edition, continues in 2024, highlighting the rich and diverse documentary production of this country. This initiative includes the participation of Aboriginal and First Nations professionals, who will present their works and engage with documentary professionals at the event.

Africa and South America in Force

Participants from Nigeria, Brazil, and other African and South American countries will be present in significant numbers this year, offering collaboration and networking opportunities to strengthen the presence of their stories on the international stage.

China and Its Pavilion

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China, a significant Chinese delegation will participate in Sunny Side of the Doc 2024. This delegation, rich in co-production stories, will include representatives from ten regional channels and fifteen companies under the Chinese pavilion.

Women in Documentary

The 2024 edition puts a special focus on women in the documentary industry. In collaboration with MediaClub’Elles and the #DocSafe initiative, a session moderated by Caroline Béhar from France Télévisions will explore topics such as abuse, harassment, and documentary creation stories highlighting women.

Future and Innovation

Sunny Side of the Doc 2024 places a strong emphasis on innovative technologies and non-linear formats such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), podcasts, and video games. An “Innovation WIP” call for applications has been launched this year to support creative teams in these areas. These projects, along with a new program of innovative content and experiences, will be showcased in the Studio, a demonstration and experimentation space at the heart of the venue.
Sessions dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on documentary production will also be offered, exploring how these technologies can reduce costs and transform industry practices.

Exclusive Showcases and Meetings

Over four days, exclusive presentations from French channels and the Japanese public broadcaster NHK will be offered to participants. The ‘Meet the Executives’ sessions will highlight the current strategies of the BBC, Swedish public channel SVT, National Geographic, TVO and Love Nature / Blue Ant.

Industry Perspectives

Numerous expert panels will focus on writing renewal, innovation, impact, and possible uses of Artificial Intelligence. Topics will include the Terra Mater documentary on the Hera project by the European Space Agency and NASA, and the OpenDocs project led by the Spanish company Artefacto and runwayStudios. Other subjects will address archives at risk in conflict zones, the future of wildlife documentaries, scientific documentaries, alternative financing case studies, the FAST economy, and brand financing.

Support and Mentoring

Sunny Side of the Doc strengthens its mentoring and networking activities to support high-potential co-production projects. The Projects Observatory and the Sunny Academy are key initiatives to support new generations of talent.

35th Anniversary Party

To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Sunny Side will offer participants, with the support of partners, an exceptional evening at one of La Rochelle's most iconic venues: the Marcel Deflandre stadium, home of the double European rugby champions led by Will Skelton, captain of the Australian national rugby team. In this Olympic year, accredited participants will enjoy this exceptional setting to celebrate and attend the screening of the documentary "Skin in the Game" (produced by Southern Pictures for National Indigenous Television), which traces the journey of Marlee Silva, one of the brightest stars in the Australian media landscape, an Aboriginal sports journalist specializing in rugby league. The festivities will continue on the pitch for the rest of the evening.