21 - 24 JUNE 2021 / EDITION N°32


Sunny Side of the Doc

[Welcome] The story behind 30 years of Sunny Side of the Doc, by Yves Jeanneau

30 years! I would never have bet on such longevity 30 years ago, for the road can often be tough.

However, we’ve managed to stay on course and stick to our principles, while also adapting to the changes in the industry. As much as documentary film should be recognised for its benefit to the public interest, Sunny Side of the Doc is necessary and vital to the documentary genre.


Yves Jeanneau, CEO of Sunny Side markets

Our pitch sessions have been based on different themes for a long time now. Every year, one of these themes is thrust into the spotlight. This year it’s the turn of Science, and in 2020 it will be History. And with PiXii, we also make room for digital mediation innovation and narrative experiences right in the centre of the marketplace event.


We don’t necessarily need to go far away to expand the documentary genre’s scope. Germany may be on our doorstep, but we needed to get all the different players’ names out there, from all the new broadcasters, regional investment funds and digital producers, and basically make people aware of this key country for European documentary, to promote European co-productions and collaborations as much as possible.

Having quickly summed up the main points of our 2019 editorial, it illustrates perfectly what Sunny Side of the Doc has revolved around and represented for the past 30 years. Professionalization & internationalisation were our two initial aims, and today they still remain the driving force. I will add that this time and space entirely dedicated to documentary film and to all those who bring it to life, aimed to be a convivial, respectful and inclusive place. We work hard every year to further improve the running of the market and the opportunities for networking, discovery and exchange.

At the beginning, there was an idealist vision behind Sunny Side, one that has increasingly become a reality thanks to you and your films. And so as co-founder, I thank you sincerely for your fierce dedication and passion for the documentary genre!


Here’s one last story for the road: where does the name “Sunny Side of the Doc” come from?

Well, it’s from a popular song written in the 1930s called On the sunny side of the street, which had been covered by Armstrong, Sinatra and other numerous jazz musicians. You’ll surely know one version or another of it. But 30 years ago, I chose it as a way of putting the genre into the spotlight and not indulging in laments and defeatism of those who did not want to hear that documentaries could find an audience.

Be proud of your projects and films!


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