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Amid the health crisis, Cannes’s virtual Marché du Film has rejigged Cannes Docs as a digital-only event giving feature documentary film professionals access to tailored program of events on a dedicated platform.

Congolese filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi will be the special guest of the 5th edition of Doc Day. Hamadi, whose latest feature documentary “Downstream to Kinshasa” is part of the Cannes 2020 Official Selection, will participate in a discussion with Directors’ Fortnight programmer and film critic Claire Diao.

Running June 22-26 as part of the Marché du Film Online, Cannes Docs will bring together 10 virtual exhibitors — Antidote, Antipode, Article Films, CAT&Docs, Cinephil, Dogwoof, Metfilm Sales, Rise and Shine World Sales, Ruth Films and Sweet Spot Docs.

On top of the exhibitors, the lineup will also include curated showcases of docs-in-progress, workshops, Doc Talks, co-production speed meetings, one-on-one consultations and online get-togethers.

Docu film professionals will be able to connect and organize meetings with buyers, distributors, streaming services and sales agents specialised in documentaries.

“Now that we are only a few days away from launching the Marché du Film Online, we realize how much creativity, hard work and commitment it takes to transport a film market to the digital sphere,” said Jérôme Paillard, Executive Director of the Marché du Film.

“We are proud to team up with leading partners in the documentary field on this special edition to offer industry professionals around the world a new efficient market model where they will be able to discover projects, screen films, and find business partners,” added Paillard.

For the second consecutive year, the program is being put together in collaboration with seven European documentary film festivals, CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, IDFA, Ji.hlava IDFF, IDFA and Visions du Réel. Two major non-European festivals will also join the Cannes Docs network of partners this year, DMZ Docs in South Korea and It’s All True – É Tudo Verdade in Brazil. These two new partners will contribute to giving a better representation of Asia and Latin America within the program.

Partnering festivals will be curating projects from their own forum and professional platforms for the Cannes Docs Co-Pro Speed Meetings, as well as by hosting exclusive Doc Talks on topical issues.

Besides these partners, eight more international festivals and organizations will showcase their own curated selection, including 4 docs-in-progress each. These are CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator; Festival dei Popoli and Torino Film Festival (in collaboration with Toscana Film Commission and Piemonte Film Commission); FIDBA – Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Buenos Aires; Film Development Council of the Philippines; New Zealand Film Commission; ParisDOC – Cinéma du réel; Telefilm Canada, in partnership with RIDM & Hot Docs; Docudays UA in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute.

Cannes Docs will deliver four prizes (compared with one last year) to the winning docs-in-progress on June 26 during an online “closing get-together” with jury members, Zane Balčus, the head of the Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries in Riga, Latvia; Lina Soualem, the French-Palestinian-Algerian filmmaker and actress who won the 2019 Docs-in-Progress Award with “Their Algeria;” and Lea Maria Strandbæk Sørensen, the impact & workshop manager at Nordisk Panorama.

Prizes are comprised of the Docs-in-Progress Award, in partnership for the second time this year with IEFTA – The International Emerging Film Talent Association, endowed with a €10,000 cash prize and professional project follow-up by IEFTA; the Impact Award, in partnership with Nordisk Panorama, providing a 2 hour consultation on the film’s impact and outreach strategy; the Cineli Digital Award, with a DCP offered by Cineli Digital, Paris, France; and the VOSTAO Award, with French and/or English subtitles offered by VOSTAO, Brussels, Belgium.

“We’ll be presenting no less than 32 projects in finalization stage – i.e. eight more than the last two years –, curated by film commissions, festivals and organizations from all parts of the world,” said Pierre-Alexis Chevit, head of Cannes Docs, adding that he was happy that the “shift-to-online didn’t stop the ongoing expansion of the number of docs-in-progress showcases within the Cannes Docs program.”