Notes from Argentina: Latin Side of the Doc

Posted on December 16, 2010

ITVS Senior Programming Manager Cynthia Kane reports on a recent trip to Buenos Aires, where she attended the Latin Side of the Doc film festival. 

I recently attended the second edition of this four-day co-production and networking rendezvous event between Latin America and Europe, with a strong North American delegation. DocsBsAs and Latin Side of the Doc (which, by the way, is the fantastic team from France that brings us Sunnyside of the Doc each June in La Rochelle, led by Yves Jeanneau and Jean-Jacques Peretti) gathered filmmakers, producer,s and decision makers (commissioning editors, broadcasters, funders, sales agents, and distributors) from both sides of the Atlantic to share their experiences and mutual needs in order to build strong international documentary filmmaking network, and initiate international co-production projects.

Last year’s DocsBsAs welcomed more than 300 participants. This year, that number more than doubled. This event leads right into Ventana Sur, the largest media market in Latin America. Both events took place at the splendid Puerto Madero neighborhood in Central Buenos Aires. During the week, we participated in pitch sessions each morning, where 24 projects were pitched (12 European projects and 12 Latin American projects). 

I am thrilled to tell you that the Uruguayan project, Avant, directed by Juan Alvarez, and produced by Virginia Bogliolo won the Most Creative Pitch Award sponsored by ARTE France. ITVS International gave Juan and Virginia an R&D award at Docs Montevideo earlier in the year. After lunches of empanadas and pizza, we went directly into our one-on-one meetings, of which I had 80 during the week!  

There were many great projects pitched to me in those mornings and afternoons, and I am very much hoping for many of them to submit for International Call 2011!  (The 2010 deadline was last Friday, and we are still processing all the applications.  More on this soon…) 

There was an excellent case study on the Mexican documentary, Agnus Dei, directed by Alejandra Sánchez, produced by Alejandra Sánchez, Celia Iturriaga, Carole Solive, and represented by Cathérine LeClef from CAT & Docs.  This is the first documentary from Mexico to deal with the controversy of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and the story of a courageous young man, Jesús, who confronts his abuser. The only time to see some tango was late at night, but that’s when the tango halls are most robust.  And it’s a must-see, must-try in this beautiful city. DocsBsAs/Latin Side of the Doc is supported by Media International (European Union), the CNC (France), INCAA (the Argentinean National Cinema Foundation), ARTE, France Télévisions, Canal 7- Argentina, and Ventana Sur.


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