Docs draw Euros, Latin Americans together

Latin Side of the Doc opens doors for filmmakers

The second edition of Latin Side of the Doc, which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Buenos Aires just prior to Ventana Sur, again brings together docu filmmakers and commissioners from both sides of the Atlantic.

As last year, more than 300 participants are expected. But commissioning editor numbers are up from 35 last year to 50: 25 from Europe, 15 from Latin America and 10 from the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. companies repped include HBO, Discovery, Showtime and WNET; European companies include BBC, France Televisions, Canal Plus, ARD, RTVE and RAI.

The event, looking to encourage Europe-Latin America co-productions, is itself a joint venture between Argentina’s Doc Buenos Aires and France’s Sunny Side of the Doc. They are joined this year by the EU’s Media Mundus program.

Pitching sessions feature 12 Latin American and 12 European projects, panel discussions, case studies and networking opportunities, as well as one-to-one meetings with the commissioning editors.

Yves Jeanneau, general commissioner of Sunny Side of the Doc, says that the event offers the Latin American programmakers the chance to get up to speed with the expectations of European broadcasters, open up opportunities to develop their businesses and demonstrate the creativity, fresh thinking and resourcefulness that exists in large measure throughout Latin America.

“In Latin America, you can find new subjects and new storytelling styles,” Jeanneau says. “It is a continent where the possibilities are huge.”

A perfect example of how this works in practice, Jeanneau says, is Mexican project “Agnus Dei: Lamb of God,” which deals with pedophilia in the Catholic church. The feature doc was pitched at Sunny Side of the Doc in June 2009, securing a Gallic co-producer and an international distrib.

Latin Side of the Doc offers producers the chance to find like-minded partners, Jeanneau says: “I tell them, ‘You have to find your brother in arms on the other continent.’ ”

“Agnus Dei” previews at Latin Side Dec. 3, part of a day of events held jointly with Ventana Sur, which will include pitching sessions for five to six theatrical feature projects.

Window on growth | Doc event draws Euros, Latin Americans together | Growth market | Up next | Screening guide

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