Top execs, hot topics for Sunny Side ’16

National Geographic Channel's Tim Pastore, Smithsonian's David Royle and PBS' Marie Nelson are among the commissioners heading to La Rochelle in France for the upcoming factual conference.
June 9, 2016

The upcoming edition of Sunny Side of the Doc, in La Rochelle, France from June 20-23, will feature a bevy of international commissioners discussing the latest trends impacting the factual world, and shining light on their own programming needs.

National Geographic Channel’s president of original programming and production, Tim Pastore; Smithsonian’s EVP of programming and production, David Royle; and PBS’ VP of news and public affairs, Marie Nelson, are among the commissioners heading to La Rochelle in France for the upcoming factual conference. They will be taking part in a special series of “Morning Talks” for delegates, curated in partnership with Realscreen and moderated by its editor and content director, Barry Walsh.

Each executive will discuss their programming strategies, opportunities available for international coproduction, and slots and strands available for factual and documentary programming, while also sharing their insights into the climate for non-fiction content in the U.S. and abroad.

SVOD will also be under the microscope at Sunny Side, with founder Peter Hamilton overseeing two case studies. CuriosityStream CEO Elizabeth Hendricks North will share her programming strategy and vision for the operation, while its COO, Peter North, will provide an overview of the inner workings of an SVOD operation, to provide context for delegates and inform them of the best ways to approach pitching to one.

Smithsonian’s David Royle, meanwhile, will discuss his company’s approach to building out SVOD solutions across its growing U.S. and international portfolio.

Canada is Sunny Side’s country of honor this year, and the designation will be marked with special panels on how to coproduce with Canada, matchmaking meetings for producers and programming execs, public screenings and a networking reception.

The event will devote a day to history content with its History Day strand, in which history programmers and producers can discuss and debate the key issues facing the programming genre today.

The event will also feature its annual pitching sessions. This year, seven sessions across the week will bring 44 projects from 13 countries before a range of international commissioners.

Sunny Side of the Doc takes place in La Rochelle, France from June 20-23. For more information, visit

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.