Case Study: POMPEII RISING: A €1.6 Million Coproduction from France’s Gedeon Productions

POMPEII RISING is an ambitious €1.6 million budget Science / History project from France’s Gedeon Programmes. Coproduction partners include French, German, Japanese and other international public broadcasters, and the online subscription platform CuriosityStream. In this Case Study for Sunny Side of the Doc we capture the development, production, distribution and select deal highlights of POMPEII …


UNITED SKATES Case Study: Five Years from Inspiration to Tribeca & HBO. Podcasts with Tina Brown & Dyana Winkler, Co-producers & -directors

UNITED SKATES is an exceptional feature documentary that combines pure and often hilarious entertainment with a hard-hitting expose of how race and class force their crushing ways into the most innocent American pastimes — even roller-skating. For this case study, which is published with Sunny Side of the Doc, I spoke with the co-producer / …

Off The Fence: Independent Distributor Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Cannes. A Podcast with CEO Ellen Windemuth

Ellen Windemuth launched OFF THE FENCE from her basement 25 years ago. In this week’s podcast, Ellen: Looks back at her company’s launch. Reflects on the particular challenges then for women in a male-dominated industry. Explores how Off The Fence grew into an industry-leading independent distributor / producer with a turnover of around $20 million. Describes her …

Sundance Takeaways: A Podcast with Peter Broderick, Veteran Distribution Strategist

Peter Broderick has just returned from the Sundance Film Festival. The quality of both the films and the deal-making in the Documentary category made a big impression on this veteran distribution strategist. Peter shares his Sundance Takeaways, including: 10-12 docs were at the “phenomenal” quality level; The impact of Netflix on the growing audience for …

Sundance and the Single Documentary Economy: The $1.3 Billion Cost of Missing Out

The documentary niche has remarkable financial scale, as measured by the films seeking selection at Sundance. Let’s assume that the average production cost of all 2,649 Sundance submissions for 2019 is $500,000. Actual budgets range from around $200,000 up to $5+ million. $500K is a conservative average. Production Cost: 2,600 documentaries were “Not Accepted” in 2019. The …

Sundance Film Festival Selections 2019: What are the Odds for Documentaries?

A Sundance Film Festival award lags only behind an Oscar nomination as a measure of success for documentarians. But what are the odds that a U.S. or international documentary will earn a slot on the program? Submissions 2,649 Documentary Features were submitted to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, which opens on January 24: 767 were from the …