Since our last update so much has happened – where to start – we’ve taken in markets and festivals in Cannes, Toronto, Barcelona, La Rochelle, Singapore, Jihlava, Amsterdam, Miami, Bangkok, Krakow, Sitges and Sheffield – see here for details. We have opened a new office in Barcelona (come and visit!) alongside our London HQ, as we prepare for whatever Brexit might throw at us.
One of our projects The End of Truth (formerly Hostage to Fortune) is nearing completion, Trophy Hunters, has been commissioned by ARTE (and pre-sold to Norway, Poland, Israel and Canada) while The Guardians has been commissioned by CBC Canada.
As ever though, our focus is on sales. Broadcasters continue to make up the lions share of our licensees though digital revenues grew significantly in 2016. Thanks and our genuine admiration go to our film makers (and often, their subjects) who continue to inspire us and drive our efforts – the stories that they are telling and that we’re privileged to represent often come at a great personal cost and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Now more than ever, as we enter the Trump era we all must stand shoulder to shoulder to protect the principles of free speech, and here we must recognise those of our clients, especially those in public broadcast, who fight our corner. Sadly some have lost their jobs or quit under editorial pressure from above, and everyone of us who cares about truth in the media needs to take a stand to protect our public broadcasters.
However, its not all doom and gloom – more and more private channels have stepped in to fill the gap having woken up to the commercial potential of serious documentary and factual programming often without the more fearful, risk-averse disposition that encumbers their PB rivals, and they’re noticing the results in their viewing figures. This can also be explained by a sustained increase in quality of documentary and factual programmes, a point thats been noted many times as we live through what has been described as a ‘golden age’ in doc and factual. Across the board, sales are better than ever meaning lots of happy film-makers.
Having left so long since our last update I hesitate to pick out highlights from our catalogue though as ever we strive to keep it small and perfectly formed. In short, the Films section of this website will always be more interesting that the News.
Since our last update we’ve been to markets in Asia, Africa and of course, many across Europe, and Hot Docs, Canada is at the end of the month. Fantastic new titles Call Me Dad and The Sacred City are already doing great business and we were especially heartened by the response at this years’ MIP TV. Our sincere appreciation goes out not just to our filmmakers but to our clients who often fight on our behalf to get sometimes-controversial subjects on to the screen.
We’ve also been attending a number of pitching forums and matchmakers, and the world of documentary has never looked in a healthier state. So many exciting projects we’re following that we can confidently say that audiences are in for a treat in 2017. Perhaps more sadly, documentary filmmakers continue to fill the role left vacant by the continued decline in print journalism.
2015 was a record year for us in terms of markets and festivals attended at 20, and there is a predictable correlation to sales, this remains a face-to-face business. For 2016, rather than add more festivals and markets to our calendar, we have tentative plans to spend the traditionally quieter summer months making client visits across Europe. We’ll post our schedule up in advance should anyone like to contact us for meetings, and we will be reaching out to all of our clients and potential production partners with the aim of boosting sales and meeting with potential co-pro partners.
We have finished shooting on Hostage to Fortune and now enter the edit and the film is pre-sold in seven territories with two more to confirm in the coming weeks. We are also in development on a new documentary on the hunting of illegal species, with exclusive access to the Dallas Safari Club – the film will be called Trophy Hunters.
As ever, we are always available for a call and most likely will be at a festival or market near you in the coming months so please do get in touch if you’d like to meet.
2015 has been a strong year so far with our presence at markets in Rio, Cannes, Berlin, Trieste, Prague, Bogota, Toronto, Thessaloniki, Moscow, Thessaloniki and La Rochelle (see our calendar here) baring great results. Of course, the real credit – as ever – goes to our film makers, and especially so with this years unusually diverse line up taking in lighter subjects with narrative docs like Love Me and Why I’m Not on Facebook alongside our more hard hitting investigations like Burning From the Inside and Who Took Johnny?.
Our involvement as production partners on selected projects is building momentum as our first project is now in production. Hostage to Fortune from Eric Matthies and Tricia Todd (the Director/Producers of Killing the Messenger) already has pre-sales in the bag and the Oscar nominated Roast Beef Productions as co-producers, expect great things (and more news) in the near future.
We have more co-productions to announce in the second half of 2015, as well as new acquisitions. As ever, we’re always pleased to hear from film makers at any stage of production, or meet with us at MIP COM, IDFA, Dok Leipzig, DISCOP Jo’burg, or ATF Singapore.
Happy New Year! Since our last update we’ve been busy with various markets (MIP COM, MEDIMED, Jihlava, Dok Leipzig and IDFA) which all feel like second homes, though 2015 promises some interesting new additions to our calendar. With a stop in When East Meets West, Trieste, and visits to the ProColombia Matchmaking Forum, Bogota and the East Doc Platform, Prague scheduled we are set to make further inroads into the Baltic, Latin American and Eastern European markets.
Alongside Berlinale, Rio Content market, Thessaloniki, MIP DOC/MIP TV, Hot Docs and Sheffield DocFest it’s fair to say that much of the next five months will be spent on the road.
With strong sales now on every continent except Africa and in Central America (which we are working on) we are taking on a very limited number of projects as Exec Producers – an exciting development and one we can’t wait to share news on when the time is right. As such, we’re more eager than ever to meet with potential co-producers.
We also have some very exciting new acquisitions to announce shortly – check the front page soon – which will be a real pleasure to introduce to our clients and audiences worldwide in the coming months.
Thanks to all of our amazing film makers for all of your hard work in 2014, we have always been spectacularly lucky in working with the most wonderful, talented people we could hope for – here’s to 2015!
Another characteristically long gap between updates for which we can only apologise, the usual summer lull as the market season grinds to a halt failed to materialise as Asian, North American and Latin American territories picked up the slack while most of Europe was on holiday.
Since the last update we’ve made our first visit to Rio Content Market which was great for both sales and acquisitions (see Road to Rio) – a repeat visit next year is a certainly. MIP DOC and MIP COM were as reliable (read: ‘exhausting’) as ever, we stopped in at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – a great, cosy festival where ‘meetings’ can drift in to the early hours, Krakow Film Festival which was much the same and great for Eastern European territories, Hot Docs – an absolute must for any film makers reading and essential for us for both amazing acquisitions and development meetings, as well as sales, and finally Sunnyside of the Doc, again – that perfect combination of high quality sales meetings and a glimpse of great things to come in 2015.
We’re proud to announce that our new titles for MIP COM will include Sundance selected Private Violence, Hot Docs selected Mad As Hell, Tim Delmastro’s Incredible follow up to End of the Road, Freedom From Choice and many more soon to be announced – watch this space. This is in addition to the many great titles launched at MIP TV which never made our news page due only to a frenzied market season taking priority, including J Street: The Art of The Possible, Diary of a School Under Siege and Fatherland. We really do feel more privileged than we can say to be working with such talented film makers.
And now back to preparations for the upcoming markets; MIP COM, MEDIMED, Dok Leipzig, Jihlava International Documentary Festival and EAVE. As ever, please do get in touch if you will be attending and would like to meet – we love to meet film makers and buyers alike. Hope you all had a great summer and we look forward to getting back on the road and meeting our friends in the documentary industry, old and new.
It’s been a long time since our last news update, an indication of how busy we’ve been with the business of selling (and finding) films. Since our last update the market circuit has taken us to Leipzig, Vienna, Cannes, Jihlava, Sichuan and Singapore where we’ve met with long standing clients and many new ones too, especially across Asia.
The fruits of our labours are evident in a year that has begun with multiple sales to public broadcasters across the world including France, Denmark, Mexico, Iran, Belgium, Spain & Slovenia as well as sales to commercial broadcasters including a first to al Jazeeras new American channel; Killing the Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News which went up against Super Bowl Sunday! A DVD deal with MVD will also see the Michael Moore approved documentary (‘Genius’) Propaganda released on DVD across the USA.
All in all, January has been a good month, despite the rain.
We can take solace though in the fact that as the festival / market circuit hots up, so will we, with March bring us pitching (and acquisition) opportunities at Rio Content Market and Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, followed briskly by MIP DOC / MIP TV, Hot Docs and more to be added. Expect another delayed update!
If you will be at any of these markets or festivals, please do get in touch to arrange a meeting with a member of the Sideways team – we’d love to meet you.
It’s the end of June and we finish the festival season with Hot Docs, Krakow Film Festival and Sunnyside of the Doc – exhausted and energised at the same time. So many great new films, new clients and of course some incredible new documentaries we are itching to announce in the very near future!
And while Europe disappears for the summer we are busy launching new online initiatives as our partnership with Distrify comes to fruition. Within the next two months we will have all of our films online and available to the public, not just through our site but through a multitude of online partners, websites, news sources and blogs – the potential we believe is mind boggling.
And finally, we have launched our own monthly free documentary screenings (followed by discussions with special guests) in the Sideways neighbourhood – our little way of giving something back to the community Come and say hello and see what we have planned here.
After the manic festival / market run of DISCOP, Thessaloniki, Asian Side of the Doc and of course MIP DOC / MIP TV we’re back for a breather before heading off once again to Vision Du Reel next week where we’re looking forward to the pitching forum and round tables, and Hot Docs straight after where again we’ll be at the Forum and the Distribution Rendezvous. If you’ll be there, please do arrange a meeting or come and say hello.
The good news of course is that we can now officially launch four fantastic new documentaries, which are already being well received worldwide; A Whisper to a Roar, Red Reign, 97% Owned and Tears of Gaza. Each title proudly announces itself to the world with a common aim of bringing important hidden stories to world audiences.
With our last quarters markets bringing meetings with established clients from across Europe, Asia and North America as well as new broadcasters from countries as far flung as El Salvador and Cambodia, we’re confident these stories will not remain hidden for long.
Spring is almost here bringing with it the usual market / festival frenzy, our calendar for the next two months includes DISCOP, Thessaloniki, Asian Side of the Doc, MIP DOC / TV and Vision Du Reel (before the summer season starts with Hot Docs and Sheffield).
As ever, we love meeting new directors and producers at any stage of production, so if you will be attending any of the above, please do get in touch to arrange a meeting.
Congratulations to Director Sebastian Stein on his fantastic, in depth interview in the Discovery Channel Magazine. The making of Twilight of the Yakuza is almost as fascinating as the film, read more here.
IDFA, Amsterdam never fails to disappoint and this years was no exception. So many great new documentaries and the pitches suggest that 2013 will be a fine year despite cut backs in both commissions and acquisitions. As ever, it was great to see old friends and colleagues, and to meet some truly inspirational new film makers. Thanks to everyone at IDFA for another great year. With the festival season at an end for us for 2012, it only remains to say that from all at Sideways Film we wish you a happy and successful 2013 and hope to see you all again soon.
Congratulations to Director Jan-Willem Breure for the recent festival success of his film Are All Men Pedophiles?. This controversial new film, following licenses with Noga, Israel; SIC, Portugal; RTV, Slovenia; Film Media Group, USA and Planete+, Poland won the Mediaprize for Best Documentary of 2012.
If you live in the Middle East, you’ll be pleased to know that we have just concluded a 23 hour deal with the al Jazeera Documentary Channel and an array of incredible documentaries will soon be appearing on your screens. Congratulations to all of the film makers involved. Also for those on the other side of the Atlantic, look out for Carbon Nation and Infiltrados soon to arrive on Current TV and Secrets of the Tribe on HBO Latin America.
A spectacularly intense market / festival period – Jihlava, Leipzig and LatinSideoftheDoc in quick succession – is now at an end, leaving only IDFA before the year closes. We can confidently state that despite the economic gloom there is still an appetite for world-class documentaries, and a legion of talented film makers out there to supply them.
Well, here it is, our new website is launched. It’s easier to navigate and also includes new sections for film makers. For our clients, we’ve added more social media functionality and one-touch printing / emailing to help keep track of our new titles. For the public, we will soon have a function whereby rights-permitting you can stream or download to own Sideways titles. More information on that soon!