PARIS — Yves Jeanneau has been appointed managing director of documentary mart Sunny Side of the Doc following the death in a drowning accident of co-founder Olivier Masson.
Masson, 46, was boarding his yacht in the old port of Marseilles at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 25 when he slipped and fell into the sea. He was weighed down by a heavy backpack and could not pull himself out of the water.
Friends, relatives and production industry reps bade farewell to Masson at a funeral in Marseilles on Saturday. He is survived by his wife and 14-year-old son from a previous marriage.
“On a personal level it is a terrible shock,” Jeanneau, who heads the documentary department at Pathe Television, told Daily Variety. “Olivier and I were very good friends, and we worked together for 15 years. Sunny Side was our dream together. There is no other solution but for me to take on full responsibility for it.”
Jeanneau will supervise the mart’s organization from Paris.
Masson and Jeanneau created Sunny Side 12 years ago. In 1997, the festival and the market split into separate events, with Masson continuing as managing director of the market and Jeanneau handling international development. This year Sunny Side, at the Palais du Pharo, and the renamed Fiction du Reel festival, at La Criee theater, both kick off on June 27.
Last year the mart attracted 1,278 participants, with 262 companies exhibiting.