Cannes Docs 2020 full program announced

Cannes Docs 2020 full program announced

The Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes announced June 10 ‘the reinvention’ of Cannes Docs as a digital-only event offering feature documentary film professionals a dedicated platform to connect, and a tailored program of events. 


Cannes Docs will run 22 to 26 June 2020 as part of the Marché du Film Online, with virtual exhibitors, curated showcases of docs-in-progress, workshops, Doc Talks, co-production speed meetings, 1:1 consultations and online get-togethers. 

“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.”

Cannes Docs to welcome ten featured virtual exhibitors: 

Documentary film professionals will be able to connect and organize meetings on the Marché du Film Online with buyers, distributors, VOD platforms and sales agents, and with numerous specialized doc sellers, including ten featured virtual exhibitors: Antidote, Antipode, Article Films, CAT&Docs, Cinephil, Dogwoof, Metfilm Sales, Rise and Shine World Sales, Ruth Films and Sweet Spot Docs.

Seven Festival Partners to join forces with Cannes Docs:

European documentary film festivals CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, IDFA, Ji.hlava IDFF, IDFA and Visions du Reél will collaborate again this year with Cannes Docs. Two major non-European festivals will also join the Cannes Docs partner network in 2020 – DMZ Docs (South Korea) and It’s All True (Brazil). Festival partners will be actively involved in the program, notably by curating projects from their own forum & professional platforms for the Cannes Docs Co-Pro Speed Meetings, and by hosting exclusive Doc Talks on topical issues within the documentary field.


Selections of docs-in-progress curated by eight festivals and organizations will compete for four awards

From 22 to 25 June, Cannes Docs will showcase curated selections of Docs-in-Progress in finalization stage looking within a few weeks or coming months. Eight major international festivals and organizations will present their curated selections, comprising 4 docs-in-progress each, unveiled in the form of a video pitch and a 10-minute sequence from the rough cut. Participant festivals/organisations 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 Reél; Telefilm Canada, in partnership with RIDM & Hot Docs and Docudays UA in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute.

Four prizes will be awarded to the winning docs-in-progress on Friday 26 June during an online closing get-together. Prizes comprise the Docs-in-Progress Award, offered in partnership with The International Emerging Film Talent Association and 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.

Pierre-Alexis Chevit, Head of Cannes Docs, commented: “I am truly thrilled that the shift to online didn’t stop the ongoing expansion of the number of docs-in-progress showcases within the Cannes Docs program. We’ll be presenting no less than 32 projects in finalization stage – 8 more than the last two years – curated by film commissions, festivals and organizations from all parts of the world. We also multiplied the number of awards, and are counting on a substantial number of decision makers attending (including of course some who can’t usually attend Cannes physically). All of this solely to give a maximum of chances of success to all the projects, for them to hit the market and festival circuit magnificently!”

Docs-In-Progress Showcases full line-up


Cannes Docs Co-Pro Speed Meetings will be open to professionals from 23 to 25 June 

The Cannes Docs Co-Pro Speed Meetings will be held over the course of 3 days, from 23 to 25 June. Potential co-producers and funding partners will be able to connect with 14 Spotlighted Projects selected by key festivals and organizations, including Cinema For Change, CPH:DOX, DMZ Docs, DOK Leipzig, IDFA, IEFTA, Ji.hlava IDFF, La Fabrique Cinéma | Institut français, Visions du Réel and When East Meets West. (Marché du Film Online participants will receive within the next few days an update on how to access the speed-meetings.)

The Cannes Docs Co-Pro Speed Meetings are organized in partnership with Eurodoc, DAE – Documentary Association of Europe, Emerging Producers and DPA – Documentary Producers Alliance. Spotlighted projects full line-up


Doc Talks, informal Hangouts and workshops as a cornerstone of the program

Cannes Docs 2020 will include five topical Doc Talks, tackling programming, distribution and creative aspects of the non-fiction field, as seen through the lens of 5 leading international doc festivals – CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, It’s All True, Ji.hlava IDFF and Visions du Réel – and of their invited guest speakers; four online informal Hangouts proposed by DAE – Documentary Association of Europe (the new pan-European community and member-driven organisation for documentary professionals, founded in Berlin in February 2020) and designed to share thoughts and projects among doc filmmakers; and four hands-on workshops created specifically for non-fiction makers:

Doc Pitching Training, On and Offline with Stefano Tealdi

Film Marketing: Go Digital with Alphapanda’s Mathias Noschis & Joanna Solecka

Do the Right Thing: Best Practices for Documentary Makers and Producers with Chris Perez & Madeleine Molyneaux 

Standing Out (in Times of Confusion) – Distribution Tips for Up-and-Coming Doc Filmmakers with Hedva Goldschmidt

Cannes Docs Events full calendar

Congolese filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi will be the special guest of the 5th edition of Doc Day

On Friday 26 June, Congolese documentary filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi will be in discussion with Directors’ Fortnight programmer and film critic Claire Diao. Dieudo Hamadi’s feature film, Downstream to Kinshasa (En route pour le milliard), represented at the Marché du Film Online by AndanaFilms, is one of the documentary films in the Festival de Cannes Official Selection 2020 and the very first film from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Official Selection in the history of the Festival de Cannes. The film portrays the victims of the Six-Day War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have been fighting for two decades in Kisangani for recognition of this bloody conflict and who are demanding compensation. Tired of unsuccessful pleas, they finally decide to voice their claims in Kinshasa, after a long journey down the Congo River. Doc Day is organized in partnership with CNC and L’Oeil d’or  Documentary Award in Cannes.

Tënk and UniversCiné to curate special Cannes Docs screenings

Two additional satellite collaborations will give the final touch to the program, in line with this year’s “dematerialized reality”. 

French/European doc-only SVOD platform Tënk will offer 100 free 3-month trials to Cannes Docs participants (more information on how to sign up to be announced soon) and will present its subscribers, during the Marché du Film Online, two films previously showcased at Cannes Docs as Docs-in-Progress: Ibrahim: A Fate to Define by Lina Al Abed (2019) and In Mansourah, You Separated Us by Dorothée-Myriam Kellou (2019). 

UniversCiné, the French VOD publisher and aggregator specializing in independent cinema, will offer to French audiences a special mini retrospective of all the documentaries that have received the L’Oeil d’or Documentary Award in Cannes since 2015: Allende de mi abuelo Allende by Marcia Tambulli Allende (2015), Cinema Novo by Eryk Rocha (2016), Visages Villages by Agnès Varda & JR (2017), Samouni Road by Stefano Savona (2018), For Sama by Waad Al-Khateab & Edward Watts (2019) and La cordillera de los sueños by Patricio Guzmán (2019).

Cannes Docs is organized in partnership with Festival Partners CPH:DOX, DMZ Docs, DOK Leipzig, IDFA, It’s All True, Ji.hlava IDFF & Visions du Réel; Media Partners Screen International, Business Doc Europe, Modern Times Review; and Programming Partners IEFTA, CNC, L’Oeil d’or – Documentary Award in Cannes, Eurodoc, DAE – Documentary Association of Europe, Emerging Producers, DPA – Documentary Producers Alliance, Documentary Campus, Tënk and UniversCiné.