Just a few months ahead of its next edition, Sunny Side of the Doc organizers are preparing the “necessary reconfiguration” of the marketplace event in La Rochelle, France with “digital alternatives.”
The event’s 2020 edition, scheduled for June 22 to 25, will include online pitches and a new submission fee in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has recently prompted France to issue a lockdown in an effort to “slow the rapid spread” of the coronavirus.
President of France Emmanuel Macron announced Monday (March 16) that the country would be suspending travel between non-European countries and the European Union for 30 days starting today.
“We recognize that the creative and cultural sector is very much affected by the unprecedented series of cancellations of industry events and productions,” organizers said in a statement Tuesday (March 17). “The documentary ecosystem is losing the face-to-face meetings that are necessary to source quality content, share ideas, pitch projects, sell programs, foster coproduction and distribution opportunities, drive business and most importantly, maintain relationships.”
Pitches and one-to-one meetings at this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc will be held online for the 36 documentaries in its six categories: history, science, social issues, arts and culture, wildlife and digital experiences. Content producers and creators can now submit a pitch for a 90€ fee until April 16.
Other announcements and plans are expected to follow “depending on developments related to the directives of local, national and international authorities on health security.”
“We believe that a joint strategy is needed for the documentary community to get through the crisis,” organizers stated, adding the team behind the marketplace is reaching out to event partners, festivals and markets in Europe that have been compelled to cancel in order to “develop new synergies and collaborative approaches.”