Sunny Side ’12: Attendance steady, award winners named

Attendance at this year's Sunny Side of the Doc remained steady despite the economic turmoil in Europe, according to organizers, although there was a decline in the number of exhibitors and viewers of the event's public screenings.
July 3, 2012

The number of attendees at this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc conference, which took place from June 26-29 in France, remained steady despite economic turmoil in Europe.

The 23nd edition of the four-day conference and market saw 1,755 participants making their way to the French port city of La Rochelle, up slightly over last year’s 1,743 participants, according to organizers.

However, the number of attendees classified as international commissioning editors and buyers was down slightly to 286, compared with last year’s 290. There were also 400 exhibiting companies – down 12% from last year’s 455. In addition, public screenings at this year’s event, under the Grand Ecran Documentaires umbrella, brought inĀ 1,450 viewers for 13 films – down 39% over last year’s 2,387.

The figures came as the event’s organizers named the winners of this year’s Best International Projects and Docs In Progress showcases over the weekend.

The Best International Projects pitch session is divided into categories including history, science and environment, investigation and society, feature docs, and little gems. The top projects in each category received US$2,500.

Denmark’s Sfinx Film/TV picked up the best investigation project for Mission Rape; France’s Saint-Thomas Productions won in the science and environment category for The Riddle of the Feathered Dragons; TV Tokyo Corporation’s Rock N’ Roll Farmer You Waki won in the little gems category; and Germany’s Dexel Films picked up top honors in the history category for The Umbrella Murder.

Director Su Rynard’s Songbird SOS won the award for best feature doc.

In the Docs In Progress pitch session, honorees included Mandra Films’ The Dream of Shahrazad; Les Films due Tambour de Soie’s Wrestling in Dakar, which won the TV5 Monde Prize; and El Caiman/La Femme Endormie’s The Crazy Machine, which won the Sunny Side Coup de Coeur

Finally, the Cuban Hat winners were Artevista Films’ Justice For My Sister, FILM’s Nostalgia and Vagabundo Films’ Upside Down Tree.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.