The overall number of attendees for this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc was more or less flat compared with last year’s event; however, the number of attending buyers and commissioning editors increased by 20, according to organizers of the French market.
The 22nd edition of the La Rochelle-based event saw 1,743 participants attend, down 15 on last year’s figure of 1,758 participants.
However, the number of attendees classified as “international commissioning editors and buyers” rose by 20, from 270 to 290. There were 455 exhibiting companies, with 63 countries represented – the latter figure up notably on last year’s 48.
Public screenings at this year’s event, under the Grand Ecran Documentaires umbrella, brought in 2,387 viewers – up 34% on last year’s 1,785.
Though flat, the attendance numbers come in a year in which Sunny Side of the Doc has faced new competition from UK event Sheffield Doc/Fest, which this year moved from its former November perch to take place two weeks before the French market.
Talking to realscreen earlier this week, Sunny Side founder and CEO Yves Jeanneau voiced his dissatisfaction with Doc/Fest’s decision to move, but predicated that new buyers and execs from territories such as Asia and Latin America would replace a possible decrease in European and North American attendees – which appears on the surface to have been the case.
Elsewhere, the French event this week gave out two Sunny Awards, recognizing documentaries which had performed well theatrically and been praised by surveyed broadcasters.
The Best International Documentary prize went to Océans, directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud; while the Best International Ratings Docs prize went to Apocalypse, directed by Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle.
Finally, the event unveiled the winner of its BIPS (Best International Projects Showcase) awards:
Science & History Projects (Sponsored by YLE): Surfacing at 175 from SUN TV (China)
Investigation Projects (Sponsored by NRK): The Challat Of Tunis from Avenue B (France) / Cinetelefilms
Arts/Culture (Sponsored by RTBF): Bittersweet Joke from GongBang Productions (Corée du sud)
3D & Cinema Projects (Sponsored by Orange): Lutece 3D from Sequana Media (France)
The under 30s talents (Sponsored by SCAM): Lugo, The Paraguan Challenge from Trouble Production (Italia) and Here Comes Uncle Joe from Boda Media Group.
The Cross Media Projects (Sponsored by CBC & Radio Canada): Mapping Conflict from PBS New York WNET/Fork Films (USA).
Organizers say next year’s edition of Sunny Side of the Doc will take place from June 26 to June 29.