UK-based documentary conference and festival Sheffield Doc/Fest has revealed the projects set to feature in its flagship pitching initiatives, MeetMarket and Alternate Realities Talent Market.
As previously announced, the two pitching events will proceed via virtual video-conferencing from June 8 to 10.
The 15th edition of the MeetMarket, which supports features and series, will see producers and directors from 48 project teams, representing 30 countries, pitch their work to a panel of industry professionals. First-time filmmakers are attached to direct 20 of the 48 titles selected (42%), while 21 films (44%) are new works from emerging directors.
Finalists were selected from more than 500 applicants, and include works from Nora Mandray, Nikissi Serumaga, Frankie Fenton, Tanya Doyle, Neary Adeline Hay, Sarah McCarthy, Anjali Nayar, Patty Pajak, Anders S. Jepsen, Chithra Jeyaram, and Danny Cohen.
Project titles include XR Beyond the Emergency, from directors Maia Kenworthy and Elena Sánchez Bellot (UK); To Set A Prisoner Free, from director Reece Smith (Sweden); Noah Collier and Emily Mackenzie’s The Sixth Wall (U.S.); Felipe Roa Pilar’s The House Is Still Dark (Denmark, Chile); filmmaker Olga Zhurba’s Roma (Ukraine, Netherlands, Denmark); director Alex Pritz’s Landlock (U.S.); and Bam Bam: The Story Of Sister Nancy from Canadian filmmaker Alison Duke.
The chosen projects will be pitched to a panel of international industry representatives from such companies as ARTE France, BBC ‘Storyville’, Berlinale EFM, Blue Ice Docs, Cargo Film Sales, CAT&Docs, Catapult Film Fund, Chicken and Egg, Cinephil Distribution & Co-Productions, Creative Artists Agency, DocSociety, Dogwoof, ESPN, Field of Vision, Fremantle Media, Icarus Films, Impact Partners, National Geographic, Neon, New York Times, NHK, Passion Pictures Films, POV, SBS, Sky, Submarine, Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute Fund, The Guardian, Tribeca Film Institute, Whicker’s World Foundation, WRD, YesDocu / DBS and ZDF, among others.
Elsewhere, the Alternate Realities Talent Market, now in its seventh year, encourages collaboration on new projects between decision makers and participants, focusing on projects in development in virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, 360-degree video and other multi-media, multi-person digital art works and installation pieces.
This year, 20 teams have been selected for match-made connections with curators, exhibitors, galleries, museums, international festivals, broadcasters, funding bodies, NGOs and distributors.
Titles to be pitched from this year’s cohort include interactive documentary Hotspot from creative team Patricia Bergeron, Ghassan Fayad and Colas Wohlfahrt; mixed reality doc Privy To from Michelle Leddon, Julia Scott-Stevenson, Liz Steininger and Jason J. Snell; installation piece Out of the Box from Alejandra Canales and Nathan Anderson; and the multi-user experience Future Rites from Alexander Whitley, Sandra Rodriguez and Sébastien Grenier-Cartier.
Confirmed industry representatives so far include Abandon Normal Devices, Artangel, ARTE, Bradford Media & Science Museum, British Underground, Crossover Labs, Digital Catapult, FutureEverything, HTC Vive, Iconic Engine, National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Open City Documentary Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Sky VR, SXSW, Tate Galleries, Tribeca Film Institute, Venice Biennale, and York Mediale, among others.
“We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from our global network of industry decision makers since we announced the plan to run a virtual market this year,” said Patrick Hurley, Doc/Fest’s director of marketplace and talent, in a statement. “Everyone remains keen to connect which is fantastic because this year’s selected projects are incredibly strong and exciting. It’s been inspiring to witness other markets successfully switch to a virtual format. The feedback from participants in Thessaloniki and CPH:DOX has been great and us market-organizers are talking to each other plenty to share tips on best practices.”