The Cannes Docs sidebar of the Cannes Film Market has announced the lineup of its annual Doc Day, which takes place on May 24.
The day will open with a morning session dedicated to ACID Cannes 2022 title “Polaris,” described by organizers as “a creative and human journey interwoven with uncompromising, gentle and bold filmmaking by a woman filmmaker, set against the backdrop of the Arctic.” Entitled “A Producing Journey,” the session will bring together Marion Schmidt, the co-founder of Cannes Docs partner DAE (Documentary Association of Europe), director Ainara Vera and producers Clara Vuillermoz (Point du Jour – Les Films du Balibari) and Emile Hertling Péronard (Ánorâk Film).
The first half of the day will also feature a discussion between Polish director and screenwriter Agnieszka Holland, president of the 2022 l’Œil d’or Jury and president of the European Film Academy, and Pauline Durand-Vialle, CEO of the Federation of European Film Directors. One of the European film industry’s most acclaimed figures and a tireless social and political campaigner, Holland has won multiple awards including a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for “Spoor.” She was Oscar nominated for “Europa Europa” and “In Darkness” was Oscar nominated too.
Morning events also include a conversation between Brett Morgan (“Jane,” “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”), who directed, wrote and produced Cannes 2022 title “Moonage Daydream,” the first film ever sanctioned by the Bowie estate, and Mandy Chang, global head of documentaries at Fremantle.
Five years in the making, “Moonage Daydream” features previously unreleased 35mm and 16mm footage from Bowie’s personal archives. It will be screened in the Cannes festival’s Midnight Section and will make its streaming premiere on HBO and HBO Max in spring 2023.
Doc Day afternoon sessions are “A New Generation of Indian Doc Makers – Thoughts and Impressions” and “Feminist Counterattack – A Filmic Narrative.”
The former brings together Indian filmmaker Shaunak Sen, whose feature-length doc “All That Breathes” picked up the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year, and is part of the Cannes 2022 Special Screenings, directors Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, whose debut feature “Writing With Fire” won multiple prizes including two Sundance awards in 2021 and a 2022 Oscar nomination, Rahul Jain (“Invisible Demons,” Cannes 2021), and Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya (“The Cinema Travelers,” Cannes 2016).
“Feminist Counterattack – A Filmic Narrative” proposes a conversation between Marie Perennès and Simon Depardon, whose debut feature “Riposte Féministe” is part of Cannes 2022’s Special Screenings, and film critic and programmer Laura Pertuy. “Riposte Féministe” follows French activists who plaster the names of victims of feminicide on walls across the country. It is produced by Palmeraie et Désert and France 2 Cinéma, with Wild Bunch handling French theatrical distribution.
The closing keynote will be by U.S. producer Opal H. Bennett (“POV Shorts”) who will re-imagine the discussion around diversity, equity and inclusion with the question: “How can arts institutions go beyond equity, and turn their focus towards what various artist communities need to thrive?”
The Docs-In-Progress awards will be handed out at an evening ceremony and will be followed by a closing screening of “Polaris.”
Speaking to Variety, Cannes Docs chief Pierre-Alexis Chevit said: “We are excited with the very eclectic program we’ve put together for this year’s Doc Day in Cannes, from the Arctic to India…. via David Bowie! We’re also proud to be giving visibility to essential socio-political issues such as feminism, diversity and inclusion. If Doc Day can help raise awareness, even modestly, both on the extraordinary vitality of the genre itself, and on some of the most pressing challenges and battles of our time, then it’s a win!”
Doc Day is organized by Cannes Docs-Marché du Film, with the support of Doc Alliance – a partnership of seven European documentary film festivals including CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Doclisboa, Docs Against Gravity, DOK Leipzig, Marseille Festival of Documentary Film, Jihlava Intl. Documentary Film Festival and Visions du Réel Nyon – and Los Angeles-based production company Participant, in association with L’Œil d’or, DAE, CNC, ACID and Unifrance.