Sunny Side of the Doc 25 Years

Below, Yves Jeanneau, CEO of the Sunny Side of the Doc welcomes the delegates to the 25th edition of an event this blogger has visited numerous times, when it was in Marseilles. Now the location is in la Rochelle and still going strong is the Sunny Side of the Doc. Dates June 23-26. Congratulations!:

In a few days, most of you will be in La Rochelle for the 25th Sunny Side of the Doc. Since 1989 the event has grown a lot – thanks to your creativity and your ideas over those years. I wanted to let you know the thinking that lies behind our events and which goes into all the work that the team does for you.

The different Sunny Side events in Europe, Asia and Latin America have been for the past 25 years a way of looking forwards and outwards. Our way is not to be defeatist, inward looking or nationalist.

Documentary is all about bringing something back of the outside world to the audience, making it richer along the way by giving it a voice. This mutual respect between the maker and the subject needs to continue (if that’s not being too idealistic). But for films like docs, which are made neither for art galleries nor supermarkets, I think that’s possible. Docs are for people who are curious, interested in the world, who like to share experiences and be surprised – avoiding the predictable at all costs.

Tom Perlmutter, who’s been at the heart of the Canadian documentary industry for so long, once wrote that documentary was like the canary in the mine warning about gas leaks – either it survived, or it didn’t and sent out a warning… 

For me documentary is like a wind propelling us towards new places. Or a starry sky which illuminates while asking plenty of questions. In times of darkness, it can be like a beacon, and put its public and private usefulness on show. It investigates and has a point of view, both of which give it a voice and something to communicate.

Reality can be stubborn,  complex and perplexing. Quite a hard thing to sell to the public, and yet we’re part of it, this reality which can raise our spirits and our concerns, our hopes and dreams…

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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