Docs

Sunny Side ’22: Seven public broadcasters open call for science docs

A global documentary initiative between seven public broadcasters was unveiled on the first day of this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc event. Announced by representatives of several of the participating ...
June 20, 2022

A global documentary initiative between seven public broadcasters was unveiled on the first day of this year’s Sunny Side of the Doc event.

Announced by representatives of several of the participating broadcasters at Sunny Side of the Doc on Monday (June 20), the initiative calls for producers to submit proposals for high-quality science documentary films. Two successful projects will be selected on the topics of ancient civilizations, archaeology, paleontology, geology or space exploration, while one further project will be selected on the topic of how cutting-edge science can provide solutions to save the planet.

The seven broadcasters taking part in the initiative are Channel 4 (UK), France Télévisions, ZDF (Germany), CBC (Canada), SVT (Sweden), ABC Australia and ORF (Austria). The collaboration is intended to help public broadcasters financially compete with the funds that major streaming platforms can offer.

The call for submissions expresses the hope that the projects will have an international scope and be framed as epic adventures with strong, emotional and engaging narratives. Ideal projects will be those with the potential for a 90-minute feature that can be edited to 52 minutes, 45 minutes, or 2 x 52 minutes. The use of modern filmmaking techniques like motion graphics, FX and CGI will be another important point of consideration.

The broadcasters also specify that they are not looking for docs on social or health issues, approaches that are too dry or academic, or presenter-led projects. They will also be attentive to equal representation and promoting women’s voices in directing, writing, on the technical crew, and in front of the camera.

The deadline for proposals to be submitted is October 14. An international jury comprised of representatives from each of the participating pubcasters will select the three documentaries to receive funding, and the successful projects will be announced at this year’s World Congress of Science & Factual Producers, which will be held in Glasgow from November 28 to December 1.

 

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 HMV.com. 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.

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