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The annual Sunny Side of the Doc conference, set for June 22-25 in La Rochelle, France, is the latest documentary conference moving to an online format in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers have unveiled plans for this year’s event, dubbed The Connected Edition, which will incorporate pitch sessions, one-on-one meetings and assorted video resources and webinars, ranging from livestreamed Q&A sessions to hands-on workshops and case studies.
Accreditation for the online event will be offered at a flat rate fee of 200€.
“Faced with the brutal reality of the Coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing strict measures imposed to control the virus, we wanted to help the whole documentary community see it through the crisis,” said Mathieu Béjot, director of strategy and development for Sunny Side of the Doc, in a statement. “That means redefining our original outline and setting, as going ahead with a physical event at L’Espace Encan in La Rochelle would represent too much of a risk to our attendees, partners, friends and our team.
“With this is mind, canceling the marketplace was never an option, especially during a time when the sector’s economy needs support from cultural operators, needs commitment to carrying on developing productions, acquiring original programs, maintaining professional relationships and fostering innovative creative partnerships,” he added. “Furthermore, we would like to thank the industry and those institutions who have shown their full support since the onset of this crisis.”
The event’s digital component, the PiXii Festival, will also move online.
The event’s six themed pitch sessions – History, Science, Arts & Culture, Social and Human Interest, Wildlife and Digital Experiences – will take place over two daily presentations, and the deadline for applications has been extended to April 23.
The conference will also host an online screening library which will be accessible until the end of the year. It will also feature a selection of docs from other festivals that have gone online, in order to maximize exposure to the work.
Organizers say there will also be more 30-minute “Meet the Execs” sessions made available online for this year’s edition.
The full program for this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc will be announced in the coming weeks, but for more information, click here.