(Still: Lina Soualem’s Their Algeria)
Following the June 2020 launch of the Docs for Sale Summer Showcase to give extra support to both filmmakers and sales agents, 37 more titles are added to the online catalogue. Back in June, the festival noted how “uncertain times demand extraordinary measures, and Docs for Sale has decided to meet this challenge.”
The new companies and titles are as follows:
Berlin-based Rise and Shine World Sales have 14 titles in the showcase. Company head Stefan Kloos says: “We curated a selection of titles that show the variety of outstanding documentaries for TV-buyers and programmers: warm and heart-breaking personal stories (Journey, Ninosca), current affairs and social topics (Discount Workers, For Somebody Else), entertainment themes (Real Men), global issues (Scars, Finding Sally), and youth docs (Don’t Give a Fox).”
Rise and Shine has also added some older but what they term ‘urgent films’. “We felt that their themes were extremely timely and they already had great success with broadcasters,” explains Kloos.
These include Friedrich Moser’s Chasing Evil – Hunting Terror on the Web which deals with failure of mass surveillance to protect citizens from terrorism and Anniken Hoel’s Cause of Death: Unknown which uncovers a link between dangerous antipsychotic medicines and government structures in the US and the EU. Monika Hielscher and Matthias Heeder’s Pre-Crime explores the controversial idea of algorithm-driven crime prevention.
Meanwhile, the Swiss company Sweet Spot Docs, which is currently rebranding and will be officially called Lightdox Sales and Distribution from September 1, offers five new, exciting titles.
“We are very pleased to present our 2020 acquisitions at Docs for Sale,” says Anna Berthollet, CEO of the company. “Since our very first market at IDFA 2018, we tend to support powerful stories told in an audacious cinematic language. With the same ambition, this year we’re privileged to present two Berlinale premiere titles: Ulrike Ottinger’s Paris Calligrammes, awarded with the Berlinale Camera, and the stunning Purple Sea by Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed… To emphasize the commitment to first-time and female filmmakers, we happily embraced Lina Soualem’s Their Algeria, a moving directorial debut.”
The French company Andana Films has nine entries in the showcase, including recent titles such as One Step from Glory, Child Trafficking, and Stonewall, Paving the Way to Gay Pride, that have already grabbed the attention of specific audiences on television and streaming platforms.
“Other films like The Many Lives of Kojin and Mrs. F. have been stopped by the current crisis in their theatrical and festival life. We hope this initiative from IDFA helps bring the attention they deserve to keep on track,” says Andana’s Stephan Riguet. The two films tackle themes of human rights: the issue of homosexuality in the Kurdish society in Iraq, and the position of women in Nigeria, respectively.
The Danish company DR Sales offers seven titles, including the investigative documentary The Campaign Against Climateby acclaimed journalist Mads Ellesøe, Kenneth Sorento’s David-against-Goliath story The Fight for Greenland, quirky showbiz biopic Tiny Tim – King for a Day by David Herdies, and Signe Skibholt’s Long Live Love, about a young girl’s fight against cancer.
Israeli sales agency Cinephil’s 17 Blocks (Davy Rothbart), which won Best Editing at Tribeca in 2019, consists of footage filmed for 20 years by a family who moved to America’s most dangerous neighborhood in 1999.
Canadian Films Transit has a timely title for programming in the US pre-election season: Dan Partland’s #UNFIT. The Psychology of Donald Trump is described as “an eye-opening analysis of the current president’s behaviour, psyche, condition, and stability, and the collective effect he’s having on the US culture and institutions”.
More films will be added to the Docs for Sale 2020 catalogue in November, and will be available for one year.