D for docs, B for Biarritz

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 four categories.


The festival stresses its commitment “to promoting innovation, image appreciation and new talent with a flagship programme, Impact, that supports the conception and distribution of films that aim to radically change the conversation on key contemporary issues, including the environment, human rights and social justice.”


Industry Days, the professional component of the festival, is designed to provide international and French doccers with opportunities to forge new alliances, pitch and fund new projects. The 3-day session is also designed to work as a think tank on the future of the documentary sector.


A focus on the Swedish doc industry includes an impact case-study given by Swedish director Fredrik Gertten and producer Margarete Jangaard who have together created several documentaries with strong outreach and impact strategies. The focus continues with a presentation on co-producing docs both with Sweden and France, before producers from both countries sit down to talk business.


Other features of Industry Days include an outreach case study of the Greek/French/Irish/Bulgarian co-production Citizen Europe as a vehicle for cross-platform and Europe-wide distribution, and appraisals of both the female gaze in doc-filmmaking and the Europe-wide public broadcast response to the rise of the SVOD platforms.


A later panel discussion will assess the tricky question of revenues deriving from documentary production/exhibition/broadcast, in which panellists will “follow the money” and check out the roles of different financiers and distribution platforms.


The International Pitch of FIPADOC will present 15 international projects to a panel of leading industry decision makers, with two in-kind post-production prizes €5000 up for grabs, courtesy of Saya. One is for an international project, the other for a French project.


French and Spanish producers will also meet and greet to discuss co-pro collaboration, and another session will address the nuts and bolts of co-production, from contractual obligations to finance plans, from sharing the risks to sharing the revenues.


Industry Days concludes with an address on the European development of ARTE by Régine Hatchondo, General Director of ARTE France and Vice President of ARTE GEIE.


Elsewhere at the festival, 100+ recent international and French documentaries are selected from and across a range of formats and themes, including music docs, impact, digital/interactive, shorts and new talents. These include recent audience pleasers such as Honeyland and The Cave, both short-listed for Academy Award nomination, Sandra Beerends’ archive-derived story of Indonesian independence They Call Me Babu and Michał Bielawski’s The Wind: a Documentary Thriller.


Four Grand Prix will be awarded, each worth €5000, within the International Documentary, French Doc, Music and Impact competition categories. The International jury consists of director Maryam Ebrahimi, réalisatrice, film programmer Martijn te Pas, programmateur and editor Mary Stephen.


SMART is FIPADOC’s space dedicated to the digital documentary experience. The presented works offer members of the public a chance to discover forms of narration that use cutting-edge technology to tell true stories. 


Meanwhile CAMPUS offers young filmmakers an opportunity to gain exposure to the documentary genre, to spark dialogue through various works, and to meet creators from all over the world.