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News

The Painter and the Thief, courtesy of Still 3

Nordisk Panorama Film Festival Winners 2020

Best Nordic Documentary Award to The Painter and the Thief by Benjamin Ree. New Nordic Voice Documentary and Short Awards went to Colombia In My Arms by Jenni Kivistö &…
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DOK.fest Munich announces its call for 2021

Fest runs May 5 - 16, 2021 and is demanding ‘stirring, touching, curious, enlightening and urgent documentary films.’ The Covid-affected event in 2020 attracted an online audience of 75,700.
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Call for submissions for online DocCelerator 5

The programme is aimed at documentary makers looking for “a clearer dramaturgical structure and a more streamlined production process for their next project in development.”
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Call for the immediate release of Hajooj Kuka

The International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) and its founding institutions, EFA, IDFA and IFFR, as well as Berlinale, call for the Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release…
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Doclisboa opening and closing films announced

José Barahona’s Nheengatu - The Language of the Amazon to open, Ulrike Ottinger’s Paris Calligrammes to close the festival, plus projects for Nebulae and Arché industry initiatives revealed.
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Open City Doc Fest announces 2020 Awards

£10,000 Assembly Feature Development Funding Award to Gabriela Pena for Here, the Silence is Heard. Open City Award for Authored Feature Film to Belgian trio Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer,…
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Call for immediate release of Nasrin Sotoudeh

September 11 2020: European Film Academy and Berlin International Film Festival call for “the immediate and unconditional release” of writer, human rights lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is desperately…
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Sweet Spot to Lightdox

Swiss-based doc sales agency announces both the company rebrand and the recent pick-up of Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed’s Purple Sea.
Emilie Bujès, artistic Director of festival Visions du Réel (in Nyon-VD)

Visions du Réel 2021 puts out call for projects

October and December deadlines for films, November and December deadlines for Pitching du Réel, Docs in Progress and Rough Cut Lab industry events. Festival to run 16 to 24 April…
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Docaviv announces winners for 22nd edition

Love It Was Not by Maya Sarfaty awarded Best Israeli Film, Alexander Nanau’s Collective crowned Best International Film. Other winners include Tokyo Ride by Louise Lemoine and Ila Bêka, Aswang…
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Lux prize goes public

The Lux Prize, previously awarded by the European Parliament, has merged with EFA’s People’s Choice Award and is rebranded as the Lux European Audience Film Award.
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Willing and Abel

US maverick filmmaker Abel Ferrara spoke at Venice following the world-premiere of his Sportin’ Life, a personal and intimate documentary made in lockdown.
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Greta Expectations

Greta Thunberg and I Am Greta director Nathan Grossman answered questions from the world press following the world premiere of the film at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.
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Sideways through Europe

Commencing Monday September 7, London/Barcelona-based outfit Sideways Film will embark on a month-long sales and acquisition odyssey throughout Europe, kicking off in Switzerland and visiting a further 13 countries.
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Docs for Sale adds 37 titles to online catalogue

New additions from Rise and Shine, Andana Films, Lightdox (formerly Sweet Spot Docs), DR Sales, Cinephil, and Films Transit, following the success of the DfS Summer Showcase in June 2020.
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Gianfranco Rosi Guest of Honour at IDFA 2020

Italian director is the only filmmaker to win top awards at two A-list festivals with docs, the Golden Lion at Venice with (Sacro GRA, 2013) and the at Berlinale Golden…
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DocCelerator double-down

Due to exceptionally high response rate, DocCelerator set to run extra training workshop at the end of August 2020.
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FID Marseille Prizes 2020

Carolina Moscoso's Visión Nocturna picks up Grand Prix of International Competition while Explaining the Law to Kwame wins CNAP Award and Flash Competition Prize.
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Dutch docs competing for 2020 Golden Calves

The 40th Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) announced July 23 the selection of long and short documentaries, as well as short films, that will compete in the Golden Calf Competition 2020.
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Congress ’20 set to go online

The World Congress of Science and Factual Producers has announced July 15 that Congress '20, originally to be located Strasbourg, will be held online December 8–10 due to the ongoing…
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Doccers in Iceland

The second edition of Icelandic fest Icedocs kicks off next week (15-19 July) on an island where lockdown isn’t so restrictive. Festival co-founder Ingibjörg Halldórsdóttir tells Business Doc Europe what…
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Going to work at Doclisboa

During its first module, running in October 2020, leading Portuguese docfest will host a programme dedicated to work, presented in partnership with the European Agency for Safety and Health at…
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And the Cannes Docs winners are…

On 26 June at the closing event of online Cannes Docs 2020 the following awards were handed out projects pitched during the Docs-In-Progress sessions. These included the €10,000 IEFTA cash…
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Cannes Marché is The Real Thing for Screenbound

UK-based Screenbound International Pictures announced Marché sales activity on Simon Sheridan’s doc Everything, about the 1970s UK soul combo The Real Thing. The company is also handing sales on Audrey…
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Cannes ACID review: Il Mio Corpo by Michele Pennetta

In the final part of his Sicilian trilogy, Michele Pennetta shows the economic/familial similarities between two marginalized characters sharing the sun-scorched island, a teenage boy and a young Nigerian immigrant.
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Hitting the Sweet Spot

“We are the new kids on the block on the sales agent documentary landscape,” Anna Berthollet says of Sweet Spot Docs, the company she and her colleagues Bojana Maric and…
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Sector turns to Doc Society for relief

As the documentary community struggles with the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown, London and New York based non-profit Doc Society is reporting a huge number of applications to…
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Launching under Quarantino

Leading French docs sales agent Anaïs Clanet has given details of her new venture, Reservoir Docs, which is being launched during the Cannes Marché.
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Cannes Docs: DAE at the Marché

The new Documentary Association of Europe was launched at Berlinale just before the world went into meltdown. But the pandemic hasn’t slowed down DAE activities, points out founder Brigid O’Shea.
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Cannes Docs set to roll

On the eve of the 2020 Marché, presented virtually this year, Pierre-Alexis Chevit, head of Cannes Docs, spoke to Business Doc Europe about organising his event under Covid.
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Cannes Docs: Met at the Marché

MetFilm Sales are screening three titles at Cannes Marché, including Hot Docs pick-up Meat the Future. They are also pre-selling two upcoming projects - on an unknown Russian female photographer…
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Cannes Marché: Ode to Joy

London-based REASON8 Films is selling Joy Womack: The White Swan, Dina Burlis’ feature doc portrait of the American ballet dancer who went to Russia to study at the Bolshoi.
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Doclisboa: Georgia on my mind

For its 18th edition, Doclisboa will present a retrospective dedicated to Georgian cinema, mapping its production from the 1920s to the present.
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Cannes Docs 2020 full program announced

Eight festivals/organizations to showcase docs-in-progress selections; co-pro speed meetings 23-25 June; Dieudo Damadi special guest of Doc Day; Cannes Docs reveals seven festival partners
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2020 Krakow Film Festival winners

Festival and Industry prizes awarded June 6. Best film prize to Acasa, My Home (Romania, Finland, Germany). FIPRESCI award to The Self Portrait (Norway).
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The future of cinema is happening now!

Following its successful online roll-out in May 2020, DOK.fest Munich director Daniel Sponsel offers nine arguments, and draws nine conclusions, concerning the future of theatrical documentary film.
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Polish pitch perfect

On the eve of the Krakow Film Festival Industry event, Katarzyna Wilk of Polish Docs outlines the effectiveness of the pitch event, and how the switch to online is proving…
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Ex Oriente Film 2020 projects revealed

The Institute of Documentary Film has selected 12 documentaries, out of a record number of 108 submissions for the 18th edition of the Ex Oriente Film workshop.
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An act of resistance

Doclisboa joint directors reveal plans for a “new format” that will offer “six different moments’ between October 2020 and March 2021.
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For June, read Sheffield

Patrick Hurley, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Director of Marketplace & Talent, talks to Business Doc Europe about the festival’s online industry offer for June 2020.
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DOK.fest Munich award winners

International prize to Radu Ciorniciuc’s Acasa, My Home. German award to The Long March Home (Weina Zhao and Judith Benedikt). Horizonte award to Sandra Beerends’ They Call Me Babu.
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Lockdown launch

Former IDFA senior programmer Martijn te Pas has made the most of corona lockdown, deciding to launch a new documentary consultancy out of Stockholm. He explains all to Business Doc…
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Online Thessaloniki Doc Fest 2020 announces titles

22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (May 19 – 28) presents 210 documentaries from across the world, and three international competitions. Free access for Greek audiences up to 400 screenings per film.
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Munich kicks off online

Following the May 6 opening of the online DOK.fest München, the festival got down to business May 7 with the two-pronged DOK.forum Industry programme, comprising Marketplace and Perspectives.
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Visions du Réel: Swiss Previews 2020

On May 4 Swiss Films presents an overview of five promising Swiss docs in production, which are about to be launched onto the festival circuit and for worldwide distribution.
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Visions du Réel: The Edge of Trauma

Oscar-nominated Petra Costa delivered a highly entertaining and provocative masterclass at VdR during which she discussed her feature films and motivations, specifically the ‘black hole’ of personal trauma.
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Pitching du Réel: Reas by Lola Arias

In this Argentinian musical doc project, pitching at online Visions du Réel, real inmates at the Ezeiza Prison in Buenos Aires reconstruct scenes from their past lives and imagine their…
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Festivals in the time of corona

On 26 April leading festival personnel, including Vision du Réel’s Emilie Bujès and IDFA’s Orwa Nyrabia, gathered to talk online about how festivals may/should/could respond to the new reality under…
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Docudays UA kicks off online

Docudays UA kicked off online 24 April 2020 with an eclectic industry programme which runs through to May 3. The festival component comprises 70 international documentaries but these are available…
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Broomfield on lockdown

Self-isolating with his son Charlie over in California, UK doc maestro Nick Broomfield talks corona, Trump and editing on Zoom, as well as his return to the world of gangsta…
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Visions du Réel: Nyon, market town

With professional activities set to kick off April 25, Visions du Réel’s co-head of Industry Gudula Meinzolt talks through this year’s online programme.
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Visions du Réel: Dutch do docs

The Netherlands presents four projects at Visions du Réel 2020, including Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum's The Ride, in Medium Length & Short Film Competition.
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Visions du Réel review: Sapelo (National Comp)

A nostalgic portrait of African-American Geechee culture on Sapelo Island, Georgia, focuses on the elderly Cornelia Bailey and her two adopted young sons, who represent her hopes for regeneration.
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Visions/Tribeca review: Wake Up On Mars

How do you deal with the harsh reality of escaping a country where you’re not wanted, only to find that the safe haven in which you have invested so much…
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Edinburgh TV Festival goes digital due to COVID-19

The event to be “reimagined” for online but “will still deliver the key, flagship moments that have become integral to the industry’s calendar,” reads statement released April 7 2020.
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CPH:DOX 2020: And the winners are…

Songs of Repression picked up the coveted DOX:AWARD, as winners are announced for the Nordic:Dox, F:act, New:Vision, Next:Wave and newly founded Politiken:Danish:Dox Awards.
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CPH:DOX. What Ed said

Edward Snowden skyped into Denmark March 23 to comment on a range of matters, from coronavirus to Tonje Hessen Schei’s iHuman to the dangers of granting news publisher status to the…
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CPH:FORUM project. The Hamlet Syndrome

In a new doc directed by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski, a young stage director turns to the Bard to help identify Ukraine’s post-Maidan generation.
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CPH:FORUM project. Why We Fight

Belgian producer Emmy Oost discusses her Forum project about violence as a physical reaction to an inability to express our dissatisfaction.
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CPH:DOX. Business, but not quite as usual

CPH:DOX Head of Industry Katrine Kiilgaard talks to Business Doc Europe about the festival’s shift to online as a response to local and international concerns over coronavirus.
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CPH:DOX goes digital

Danish docfest CPH:DOX has launched its first digital festival following the March 11 announcement to cancel the original event due to concerns over coronavirus.
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East Doc Platform Winners 2020

Big winner was the project Roma (working title), which walked away with the East Doc Platform, Sunny Side of the Doc, DocsBarcelona and Ex Oriente Fine Cut awards.
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The future is Archive

EFM and DocSalon organised an inaugural Archive Day during Berlinale 2020, with the aim of uniting filmmakers with archive libraries to augment, improve or indeed form the basis of their…
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Thessaloniki’s Agora Doc Market award winners

After a tortuous week for the international doc industry, at last a measure of hope as Thessaloniki announces The Agora Doc Market awards after the event was conducted online due…
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Czech list at East Doc Platform

On March 10 2020, five upcoming documentaries to be presented at Czech Docs… Coming Soon, six Czech/co-pro projects are pitched at East Doc Forum and a further five selected for…
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CPH:DOX set to roll

Leading Danish doc fest to go ahead 18-29 March 2020 despite postponement of other international film and TV events, but will follow guidelines set out by Danish Health Authority.
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Doc winners at Berlinale 2020

Rithy Panh and producer Catherine Dussar pick up Berlin Documentary Award while top doccers from Germany, Flanders, France and Austria are lauded within the fest’s other sections.
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Magnolia does EFM deals on docs

Magnolia Pictures International revealed sales of four documentary features including The Fight and Assassins and Once Were Brothers.
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Market boost at Thessaloniki

The Agora Doc Market of the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival is enhanced by three new initiatives in 2020, aimed to boost doc activity in the South-east Europe and Med region.
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Cinephil closes with Neon on Gunda

Neon has acquired North American rights to Gunda, directed by Russian auteur Victor Kossakovsky and selected for Berlinale Encounters.
The Painter and the Thief, courtesy of Still 3

Norwegian Sundance hit sold to Neon

Autlook Film Sales has sold worldwide rights for Norwegian Benjamin Ree’s Sundance hit The Painter and the Thief to Neon, who are riding a wave following the Oscar success of…
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Selling Hillary

Dogwoof and US production outfit Propagate announced sales on Nanette Burstein’s four-part series Hillary (screening in Berlinale Special) as the former First Lady flies in to Berlin for the screening/Q&A…
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It’s all in the archive

Archive Day kicks off 25 November with a conference, a sneak preview screening and the chance for filmmakers to meet some of the world's leading archives.
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Berlin Review: Days of Cannibalism

Using few words, Berlin-based director Teboho Edkins observes the interactions of cattle herders and Chinese immigrant traders in Lesotho, the country where he grew up.
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DAE Zero

Brigid O’Shea announced at EFM that as of today, February 22 2020, DAE (Documentary Association of Europe), the new pan-European body designed to look after the interests of European doc…
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Time to Rise and Shine

Berlin-based sales outfit Rise and Shine pops up the road to EFM with two films in official selection and two market premieres.
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Beldocs Industry puts out the call

March 1 2020 is the application deadline for projects to attend the industry section of the Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival, the festival underlined at EFM, February 19 2020.
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King Otto doc to kick off globally

International theatrical distribution outfit Piece of Magic Entertainment, Cinema Nolita and producer Shani Hinton (Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love) have joined forces on the worldwide theatrical release of Christopher…
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Incredible EFM premiere to Milan

Incredible Film's It’s Dutch Design, market-premiering at EFM 2020, selected for October’s prestigious Milan Design Film Festival.
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Time to Go East

9th East Doc Platform unveils its 2020 programme, which includes a Fredrik Gertten masterclass as well as pitches of upcoming documentary projects from Central and Eastern Europe.
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CPH:FORUM selects 34 projects for its 2020 edition

These include new projects from the Oscar-nominated Laura Nix and Talal Derki, Berlinale winner Adina Pintilie, Sundance winners Jialing Zhang and Ra’anan Alexandrowicz and the Venice-winning team of Elwira Niewiera…
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Thessaloniki Doc Fest names its Masters of Documentary 2020

Legendary Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon, avant-garde French-Colombian Laura Huertas Millán and Lauren Greenfield, who chronicles the accumulation of vast wealth, will be in the spotlight at Thessaloniki (5-15 March 2020).
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Journeyman to the Moon

Journeyman Pictures acquires world rights (except The Netherlands and Flanders) to Frank Herrebout's moon doc Fallen Astronaut.
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Two doc projects at IFFR’s BoostNL program

Producer/director teams behind the Russian Figures in the Urban Landscape (post-prod) and Panamanian Wild Gleaming Space (script development) are in Rotterdam to raise interest and finance.
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IFFR review: Meanwhile on Earth, Carl Olsson

After we die, it is different people’s jobs to clean, stitch, embalm, drive, lift, lower, burn, and bury our corpses. Carl Olsson’s documentary feature observes them all, in a series…
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Support grows for new European doc body DAE

Brigid O’Shea spoke to Business Doc Europe about DAE (Documentary Association of Europe), the new pan-European body designed to look after the interests of European doc professionals, which will launch…
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Sunny Side up for Béjot

Leading French documentary market and forum Sunny Side of the Doc has appointed Mathieu Béjot (left) to the newly-created role of director of strategy and development.
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Greeks bearing new gifts

The 22nd Thessaloniki Doc Festival (March 5 – March 15) underlines its new cash-heavy competition sections , and emphasizes the need for int'l producers to submit their Agora pitching forum…
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Deadline time

Business Doc Europe outlines a selection of upcoming training deadlines for determined doccers.
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D for docs, B for Biarritz

FIPADOC International Documentary Festival (Biarritz 21-26 January 2020) yesterday announced details of its Industry Days professional programme (Industry Days 22-24 Jan) as well as the 100+ doc titles competing across…
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Nordic docs in Competition at Gothenburg

Four world-prems feature among the nine documentaries selected for Nordic Doc Competition at Gothenburg Film festival which runs 24 Jan – 3 Feb 2020.
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IFFR 2020 vision for docs

IFFR will present 22 feature doc world premieres (17 from Europe) in 2020 across its Deep Focus, Bright Future, Perspectives and Voices Strands.
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Greta to Hulu

Swedish documentary about 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg to be aired on Hulu in 2020
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Prague to Sundance x 3

Three of the twelve films selected for Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition 2020 received post-production development support at the Prague-based dok incubator workshop.
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First rate sales

After the dust settled on IDFA 2019, Esther van Messel of First Hand Films outlined her market sales to Business Doc Europe.
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Precious Cargo

New York based doc specialists Cargo Film & Releasing is extending its relationship with documentary legend (and IDFA regular) Barbara Kopple.
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And the winners are…

On 27 Nov 2019, IDFA announced the winners within each of the competition programs during the Awards Ceremony at Eye Film Museum, with the top prize going to Heidi Hassan…
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Cannes Docs can do

Pierre-Alexis Chevit, who heads up Cannes Marché’s documentary section, was at IDFA to bang the drum to the sector and to announce his department’s new name, Cannes Docs.
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IDFA review: #387

In her first feature-length documentary French director Madeleine Leroyer takes the soulless remains of a refugee as a starting point, in an attempt to identify #387.
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Living with unseeing eyes

“Characters always come my way like a casualty,” explains Mexican director Sérgio Morkin of his feature doc Maricarmen, selected for Docs for Sale.
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IDFA Review: Punks

Maasja Ooms has a love for teenagers. And this love shines through in every scene in Punks, in which she follows a group of Dutch youngsters at a farm in…
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Emmy for Bellingcat

On Monday 26 November Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-truth World Picked up the International Emmy Award in the Best Documentary category.
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German docs in Amsterdam

The German documentary presence at IDFA is particularly impressive in 2019 with 41 projects, fairly equally split in terms majority and minority stakeholder status, selected across all sections.
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Time for a break

Irena Taskovski, founder and Managing Director of Taskovski Films, has been highlighting one side of the documentary business that few practitioners are willing to talk about openly – their health.
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IDFA Review: I Walk

I Walk is an intuitive, unconventional, sometimes anti-aesthetic record of filmmaker Jorgen Leth's attempts to make sense of destruction, old age and fear.
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Science, nature, doc

Irem Couchouron, head of Public Programs at the Silbersalz Science and Media Festival spoke to Business Doc Europe about the festival’s rationale.

Some like it doc

Sydney Neter, founder and managing director of Amsterdam-based sales agent SND Films, is going into business with Marilyn Monroe and Joan Collins.
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From Moscow to Amsterdam for AI

Edward Snowden, the world’s most celebrated whistleblower and subject of Laura Poitras’ Citizen Four (2014), joined director Tonje Hessen Schei by Skype after the November 24 screening of her iHuman.
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IDFA Review: In a Whisper

‘All I can look for is an image. An image where you can find me,’ is a sentiment expressed in the opening scene of In a Whisper, and states what…
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HotDocs welcomes EFP again in 2020

At IDFA, HotDocs programming director Shane Smith confirmed to Business Doc Europe that the festival’s collaboration with European Film Promotion on the Changing Faces of Europe programme will continue in…
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IDFA review: Mother and Son

An Azeri son and filmmaker returns to his mother after eight years – again – in this fascinating self-portrait that carves out its own path between observation and reconstruction.
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IDFA review: They Call Me Babu

A mesmerising journey through space, history and emotions, carefully and lovingly crafted from found footage.

Climate Lab to London

As it ramps up its eco activities yet further, non-profit powerhouse Doc Society is to bring its Climate Story Lab to the UK next spring.
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Business Doc IDFA

Head of Industry Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen articulates the business offer at IDFA 2019, and explains why the next few days will be a little less nerve-wracking for some producers.
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First Hand Fund

First Hand Films’ managing director Esther van Messel has given details of the new fund the company is establishing.
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Oleg Sentsov in London

After five years, the Ukrainian is ready to resume his filmmaking career, he says.