Sunny Side 2024: Newen Connect unveiled its docs slate

From June 24-27, the distributor will be present at the festival to present a varied slate of documentaries covering topics from the Fren Revolution to the cultural impact of “Jaws”.

21 JUN 2024

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European distributor Newen Connect announced a swathe of new factual titles that it will bring to Sunny Side this year with its broadest ever range of genres, covering history, investigations, science and entertainment. The company will be at the festival from June 24-27. The Newen Studios stand can be found at A11-B13.

Chloé Persyn, Head of Factual Distribution, Newen Connect said: “After a hugely successful Sunny Side last year, the Newen Connect team is excited to be representing an impressive slate of films that cover a wide range of subjects that take in both fascinating historical topics as well as contemporary issues. Made with passion and integrity by some of the most highly regarded film makers in this discipline, I’m excited to introduce them to international buyers and bring them to global audiences.”

Available as a 1 x 52’ or 1 x 90’ version, “Forgotten Heroines of the French Revolution” produced by Capa, directed by Émilie Valentin and Mathieu Schwartz originally commissioned by France’s Arte, offers a fascinating new look at one of history’s most monumental turning points telling the fascinating stories of women such as Pauline Léon, Claire Lacombe, Olympe de Gouges or Théroigne de Méricourt who stood at the heart of the French Revolution, but whose names have long since disappeared from the annals of history.

Beneath the streets of Paris it is the largest necropolis in the world at over 1.7km in length and containing more than six million skulls. “Catacombs: Anatomy of the City Above”, commissioned by France Télévisions from Matcha Productions and Capa, brings together a team of world-renowned experts, fronted by forensic ‘bone doctor’ Philippe Charlier, who uses the latest dating and facial reconstruction techniques to tell the history of Paris through its major epidemics charting the lives of those who made France’s capital city their final resting place. Directed by Dominique Adt, the title offers the most extraordinary ‘post-mortem’ the world has ever seen and is available as either a 1 x 52’ or 2 x 45’ version.

Directed by Oscar-nominated director Connie Field (“Freedom of Mind”), “Democracy Noir” follows three courageous women as they fight to expose both the step-by-step destruction of democracy and corruption within Viktor Orbán’s Hungary - a white nationalist regime, envied by promoters of a new brand of authoritarianism throughout the world. Originally commissioned as a Scandi/French co-production by DR, SVT, NRK and SWR/ARTE, the Real Lava and Clarity Films production is available as either a 1 x 52’ or 1 x 90’ version.

“Africa vs. Western Powers: The Underside of a Divorce” tells the powerful story of the increasing breakdown in relationships between African states and their former colonial powers of France, Europe and the US. Through interviews with young and key African players and European political leaders, the film also investigates in-depth the role of third countries such as Russia, China, and Iran, which may have contributed to the breakdown of the relationship between Africa and the West. Africa vs Western Powers: The Underside of a Divorce has been made by award winning co-directors Alexandra Jousset and Ksenia Bolchakova (Albert Londres Award Winner 2022 for "Wagner, Putin’s Shadow Army") who also wrote the narrative, alongside Benjamin Roger. The film is produced by Capa for France 5 and available as a 1 x 52’ or 1 x 70’ version.

“Rebuilding Tomorrow: Ukraine’s Next Generation” uses the testimonies of parents, psychologists, legal experts, and children, this 1 x 52’ or 1 x 70’ directed by Tetiana Pryimachuk and Philippe Lagnier reveals how Ukrainians are addressing the traumas inflicted on their children by the violence of the war with Russia. "Rebuilding Tomorrow: Ukraine’s Next Generation" has been produced by Capa for France 5.

The 2x52’ or 1 x 52’ film ”The Great Baby Takeover” travels across France, Belgium, Germany and the UK to investigate the workings of an economic, political and societal mechanism that makes early childhood such a prosperous business and reveals how privatizing early childhood and focusing on margins have created a favorable breeding ground for mistreatment. Originally commissioned by France’s Arte from producer Capa, the film has been directed by Coraline Salvoch and Alain Pirot.

Filmed around the world with scientists who at the forefront of new research into evolutionary jumps, the 1 x 52’ “Evolution: Faster Than Ever” investigates the phenomena of jumping genes, plasticity and epigenetics that organisms are employing to adapt to their changing environment and transmit those new skills through generations – far faster than Charles Darwin ever predicted. Directed by Elena Sender and Luc Marescot, "Evolution: Faster Than Ever" is a Films à Cinq, and Capa for Arte (France).

“Jaws: Making a Splash in Hollywood” uses film footage and archive interviews with Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss to examine the movie’s significance and its enduring legacy as a launchpad for both modern cinema and one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. A Capa production for Arte (France) the 1 x 52’ film is directed by Olivier Bonnard and Antoine Coursat.