Sunny Side of the Doc has unveiled its official pitch selections for the 33rd edition of the festival, which will take place in La Rochelle, France from June 20 to 23, the documentary conference’s first in-person event following two years of online-only versions due to the pandemic.
The pitch sessions will take place during the marketplace before more than 400 high-level decision-makers, including streamers, major broadcasters, foundations, sales agents and other investors seeking content.
Organizers are emphasizing the diversity of the 2022 selections with an accompanying theme: New Voices. Following last February’s call for projects, some 275 documentary projects from 46 countries were received. Two out of five projects in 2022 come from young directors with their first or second documentary project, and 50.7% of submissions were from women.
For the 2022 event, 48 projects from 22 countries will be presented across eight pitch sessions divided into three major categories: genres (encompassing global issues, wildlife & conservation, science, history, and arts & culture), digital creation, and the New Voices talent hub.
Among the class-of-2022 pitch selections are projects about bats (Science of Bats), psychoactive drugs and mental health (Ayahuasca), the prevalence of satellites in near-Earth orbit (Space Empires), a look at the cultural legacy of The Matrix (Matrix, Inside & Out), a new wave of traditional Irish musical artists (Celtic Utopia, pictured), the end of the Cold War (Moscow Nights), survivors of the Christchurch mosque attack (Nothing Called Home), and a mock wildlife doc about human beings (Homo Animals).
The best projects from each session will be selected by a jury of global industry experts, with eight winners each receiving a cash prize of €3,000 from pitch session sponsors.
More information on each of the 48 pitches and their respective categories can be found here.
Additionally, Sunny Side of the Doc 2022 will see the debut of the “Coup de Coeur” award, which will be presented by international student delegations to a director who is submitting their first or second documentary project.
“[The] 2022 official selection, with equal gender representation, is once again distinguished by the great diversity of the works presented,” said Mathieu Bejotéjot, Sunny Side of the Doc’s director of strategy and development, in a release. “40% of the selection — in all categories — is made up of first or second films, and new territories are being seen and heard, such as Jordan, Iceland, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates and Slovenia. The search for authenticity and new and different points of view are the main features [of] the majority of the works selected.”