It was a night to remember. All four Polish projects presented during this year's Sunny Side of the Doc are coming home from the virtual La Rochelle with awards.

Taking place in the French town of La Rochelle, Sunny Side of the Doc is one of the world's largest documentary film  market and a meeting place for specialists from the documentary industry. This year's edition of Sunny Side of the Doc was held online.

A total of four Polish projects were invited to participate in the 2021 edition: the GLOBAL ISSUES sessionKonrad Szołajski's “Weitergate” (prod. Małgorzata Prociak); the HISTORY sessionKrzysztof Dzięciołowski's “The Ultimate Joker” (prod. Agata Jujeczka, Vision House Production); and the WILDLIFE sessionPaolo Volponi's “Jungle Fever. The Race to Save Malaysia's Last Tigers” (prod. ClearWing Foundation for Biodiversity). The Talent Hub pitching section – presenting projects created by debutants from CEE countries – featured Aga Borzym's “Girl’s Stories” (prod. Agnieszka Rostropowicz-Rutkowska, Marta Dużbabel – Pinot Films). Each of the projects received an award. 

Aga Burzym's project was presented as part of the Talent Hub CEE. It's a pitch session for documentary projects that are already at the production stage. The awarded “Girl’s Stories” is a coming-of-age story about two teenagers – 11year-old Jagoda and 13-year-old Zuzia. We watch the girls grow up and experience their ups and downs. 

“Waitergate” by Konrad Szołajski was honoured with an invitation to Movies that Matter. Russia is waging a hybrid war in Ukraine. The Polish government supports its assaulted neighbour and – in the meantime – the country's ministers disgrace themselves with wiretapped telephone conversations. A media scandal breaks out, which contributes to the change of power in Poland. 

In turn, “Jungle Fever. The Race to Save Malaysia's Last Tigers” directed by Paolo Volponi received the award for the best pitch in the Wildlife section. The director and biologist Marta were given a unique opportunity to observe the last living Malayan tigers up close. The documentary shows a group of people trying to protect these rare animals from poachers. 

A similar win went to Krzysztof Dzięciołowski for his project of a documentary about Jerzy Urban. “The Ultimate Joker” was named the best pitch in the History category and received an invitation to Meeting Point Vilnius too.

It's worth noting that all of the winning projects were part of a special Polish Docs PRO delegation (you can read more about it here).

A list of all winners of this year's Sunny Side of the Doc can be found here.