21 - 24 JUNE 2021 / EDITION N°32


Sunny Side of the Doc

The return of IMZ & Sunny Side of the Doc Pitching Session at Avant Première 2020 (Berlin)

Boosting cultural content through international cooperation

For the second consecutive year,  IMZ International Music + Media Centre, the organisers of Avant Première and the global network for music + dance films, join forces with Sunny Side of the Doc, the internationally renowned market place for documentary + narrative experiences.

Avant Première 2020 shines a special spotlight on performing arts documentaries and offers filmmakers and producers the possibility to take their projects further!

Submit your performing arts documentary by December 12 for a chance to win the unique opportunity to pitch directly to international decision makers and receive expert feedback on the spot.


The Sunny Side of the Doc + IMZ Pitching Session is interested in documentary stories exploring any aspect of the performing arts – be it an artist’s portrait or a historical/genre specific documentary focusing on any music + dance content. We welcome proposals in development or production, that combine quality, originality and innovation, including native web creations and cross-platform storytelling.


  • The Sunny Side of the Doc + IMZ Selection Committee pre-selects five proposals among all submitted projects, which are then eligible to be presented at the Sunny Side of the Doc + IMZ Pitching Session at Avant Première 2020.
  • In order to increase exposure + business opportunities for the eligible projects, the five pitches will be included in the Avant Première Programme Guide, handed out to all 600 participants from the performing arts + media.
  • In addition, the members of the Jury, consisting of international industry experts, can request a One-on-One Follow Up Session, in which further details can be discussed.
  • Moreover, one project will win the chance to pitch again in front of an international expert jury at Sunny Side of the Doc, taking place from 22-25 June 2020 in La Rochelle, France, including two free accreditations.
Find out more about this unique pitching opportunity


The jury is made up of internationally renowned experts + decision makers from the documentary industry+ performing arts industry. Click to enlarge.

International consultant in charge of the editorial line at Sunny Side of the Doc

Jean-Jacques Peretti is in charge of the editorial line at Sunny Side of the Doc, the internationally renowned market place for documentary and factual content. He organises panels, case studies and pitching sessions. Previously, Jean-Jacques worked as a production manager with many companies for ten years in Paris.

Founder + CEO at First Hand Films

Van Messel joined Warner Bros. Israel in 1990 as Head of Distribution and later an independent company in Zurich in 1992 as Head of coproduction + Sales. She founded First Hand Films in 1998 and represents 300 international films + 200 producers.

Commissioning Editor for Arts, Music and Dance at BBC Music

Emma Cahusac has worked in TV for over 25 years as a producer, director + executive. She has produced programming for all major UK channels and US broadcasters, with subjects ranging from the visual arts, theatre, classical dance to pop music.

Head of the EBS International Documentary Film Festival (EIDF)

Gunny Hyoung joined EBS Korea in 2004 and has been organising the EBS International DOC Film Festival ever since. Hyoung has contributed to connecting many Asian, European and North American Documentary Initiatives with the EIDF.

Head of Mission Innovation at ARTE

Kay Meseberg has worked on many award-winning digital productions over the last 20 years. He joined ARTE in 2013, where he contributed to the first-ever VR documentary “Polar Sea 360” and now works on immersive media as well as leads ARTE’s Mission Innovation. Kay is also a visiting lecturer for the Center of Collaborative Arts + Media at Yale University and Innovation Ambassador for the IMZ.

Head of Sales at Dogwoof

Ana Vicente joined Dogwoof in 2011, where she oversees the sales strategy for all documentary films + pre-sales of documentary projects outside the UK. Some recent titles include “Women Make Film”, “Cunningham”,“Mystify”, “Making Waves” and “Maiden”.

Head of Arts + Performing Arts at ARTE France

De Jong has commissioned documentaries and developed emblematic programmes for ARTE France such as the urban culture magazine Tracks + Music Planet Tonite. She currently develops magazines, documentaries, web-native formats + performing arts programmes.

Head of Coproductions at Sky

With 25 years’ experience in TV + film acquisition, Jack Oliver has worked across the full Sky Entertainment channels and launched Sky Crime, Sky Comedy and new US pilots. He has a broad remit for factual entertainment across the Sky channels.



12 DECEMBER 2019 Deadline to submit your proposal via the online submission tool on the IMZ Website
Before 15 January 2020 The 5 selected proposals are informed + confirmed
24 February 2020 Pitching Session (+ One-on-One Follow Up Session) during Avant Première 2020
Between 22-25 June 2020 Pitching Session during Sunny Side of the Doc 2020 for the winning project



Only participants with an Avant Première Festival Pass can submit proposals. Maximum three projects can be submitted per company.

Proposals are only accepted before the deadline via the online submission tool, accessible through the IMZ website. Only duly completed submissions made in English are taken into consideration.
Please note that only persons registered with a Festival Pass for Avant Première 2020 can enter their projects.
If you are not yet a registered participant of Avant Première 2020 yet, you can purchase your Festival Pass here!

All full submissions will be reviewed by the Sunny Side of the Doc + IMZ Selection Committee and evaluated based on originality, technical and/or research content/depth, correctness and relevance to the Sunny Side of the Doc + IMZ Pitching Session.

Click here to submit


Each pitch last 15 minutes in total, whereas 7 minutes are to be devoted to the presentation of the project including a trailer and 8 minutes are reserved for a Q&A with the expert Jury and the audience of industry professionals.

Moreover, any member of the expert Jury can request a private Follow Up Session, in which further details can be discussed and clarified. This is a unique opportunity to get precious one-on-one time with decision makers and initiate fruitful collaborations for your project!


Last February in Berlin, the sixth edition of Avant Première 2019 successfully provided an insightful, engaging conference programme with a record number of 613 participants from 35 countries from all over the world, who got to enjoy exclusive previews to 560 music + dance films presented by 65 key market players!

The winning project “The Subharchord – a Child of the Golden Age” developed by the Norwegian production company True Fiction, did not only receive critical acclaim from the jury and the professional audience but also got the chance to be pitched again at Sunny Side of the Doc last June!

The director of the documentary, Ina Pillat and her producer Cecilie Bjørnaraa were pleased to share their experience and takeways.

“After both pitches in Avant Première and Sunny Side of the Doc, we met with several decision makers as well as other producers. The feedback received from the experts jury really brought further the development of our project, thanks to very valuable insights. We are now in a very good dialogue with several broadcasters as well as possible co-producers from different countries.”

Read more on our Blog.


Email Isabella Fellinger @ IMZ

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