21 - 24 JUNE 2021 / EDITION N°32


Sunny Side of the Doc

Time to Stand Up for Science at Sunny Side of the Doc 2019


Sunny Side of the Doc makes Science its theme for 2019

At a time when fact-checking is vital to counteract fake news, Sunny Side of the Doc is here to protect and champion factual content. This year, the international market for documentary and narrative experiences has made Science a keystone of the line-up. This earnest yet laid-back edition features conferences, round tables and plenty of exchange opportunities, aiming to make science more accessible and attractive to all.


La Rochelle, 21 May 2019 – The 30th edition of the international market for documentary and narrative experience will take place on 24 to 27 June in La Rochelle. The spotlight will be shone on this year’s chosen theme of Science, along with the slogan “Stand Up for Science!”. On the occasion of this 30th anniversary edition, which also celebrates Germany as a Country in Focus, Sunny Side of the Doc organised a program of conferences and networking around the challenges of blue-chip science documentary production.

Alliance Doc: coproducing science projects internationally

After the opening keynote speech from producer Ellen Windemuth (Off The Fence), honorary president of this year’s edition, a session titled “Alliance Doc: international coproductions on the spot” will follow with the ambition to launch a new network of international broadcasters to create opportunities to exchange projects and co-develop ideas together, both linear and digital.
“Alliance Doc” will also create new bridges between international producers. Through two case studies Lady Sapiens and Pompéi Rising, the session will explore the mechanisms and opportunities of coproducing internationally. Original in their forms and in their storytelling including VR experiences, they both have the potential to reach new and younger audiences. (24 June, 12pm – Agora)

Meet The Executives – Science special

Every year, Sunny Side of the Doc organises a programme called Meet The Executives, and this year’s edition has a scientific edge to it. During the sessions, the most high-profile buyers and heads of science rogramming are invited to share both their programming strategies and projects for the season  to come. Already confirmed: Greg Boustead (Sandbox Films/Simons Foundation – USA), Ricarda Schlosshan (ZDF Terra X – Germany), Bernadette McDaid (National Geographic – USA), Chris Hoelzl (Smithsonian Channel – USA), Susan Dando (CBC – Canada) and Sylvia Schmoeller (Red Bull Media House – Austria).
In addition to 12 Science & Nature projects selected to be pitched this year, Sunny Side of the Doc and EBU continue their collaboration drawing together public and private broadcasters, digital platforms, foundations involved in high-quality science programming and offering 8 new projects a greater opportunity to move from the media laboratory into production, through international collaborations during a closed-door Science Decision Makers’ Pitch.


As producers, we must all stand up to produce strong films to counterbalance the communications methods many governments and pressure groups use to achieve economic growth without compassion for humans, plants or animals.Ellen Windemuth, Honorary President and Producer / Off The Fence



Impact producing leading the way

The “More Than a Movie: Media with Impact” conference, which will take place on 26 June at 5.30 pm in association with Jackson Wild, will be focussed on how documentary has the strength to shake things up. Led by honorary president Ellen Windemuth, these exchanges will provide visibility on the challenges surrounding impact producing. The conference will be accompanied by Ru Mahoney and his eco-thriller and Sundance 2019 winner Sea of Shadows; Bill Gardner, vice-president of Programming and Development at PBS; and Philippe de Bourbon for Echo Studio.

Science showing off – in moderation!

How can we fight against conspiracy theorists and climate change deniers in this era of fake news and other misinformation without coming across as pompous and self-righteous? This is the challenge facing the panel “Science Is Not Enough – how to communicate science?”, scheduled on Thursday 27 June. It is coproduced by Documentary Campus and will be presented by award-winning producer and screenwriter, Ruth Berry.
Dietram Scheufele, expert in science communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and British scientist 2.0 Matthew Shribman (who has racked up more than 25 million views across his YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitch accounts) promise to enlighten us against the prevailing climate of skepticism.
(27 June, 10.30am – Auditorium)

The importance of archives in documentary: “Apollo: Missions to the Moon”

While the world is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Peabody and Emmy award-winning executive producer Tom Jennings (1895 Films) will explain the use of audio and visual archives for creating an immersive experience around NASA’s Apollo programme, alongside Bernadette McDaid who produced said documentary for National Geographic.
(25 June, 2.30pm – Agora)

Sunny Side launches the “European Talent Hub for Science Media” with EURASF

For the 2019 edition, Sunny Side of the Doc has teamed up with European Academy of Science Film (EURASF) to help spot new talent from within its networks, member festivals and incubator programmes, and encourage collaboration between the scientific community and the media in Europe. The aim is to encourage countries who are less represented on the international market to get involved, as well as highlighting the most innovative experiences and getting audiences involved in science and understand its impact on our society.
A full-scale call for applications (feature film, TV doc, series, installations, VR, etc.) was launched in March, resulting in eight projects from various different countries being chosen (UK, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, The Netherlands, France). The winners are also invited to the international market for documentary at La Rochelle, with the support of CNRS and KissKissBankBank, to share their creative universes and meet co-production partners during this 30th edition.
(25 June, 10am – German Lounge)

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