IMZ x Sunny Side of the Doc Pitching Sessions

For the fourth time and counting, the IMZ International Music + Media Centre has joined forces with the internationally renowned market place for documentary + narrative experiences Sunny Side of the Doc to grant a special platform to performing arts documentaries, offering filmmakers and producers the chance to take their projects further!


As Sunny Side of the Doc and the IMZ wish to encourage digital creation, an additional pitching session will be exclusively dedicated to digital content within the performing arts: innovative stories or digital installations created through new convergences of documentary, culture and immersive technology.

Submit your performing arts documentary or digital project now for a chance to win a special opportunity to pitch directly to international decision makers and receive expert feedback on the spot.




What are we looking for?

  • Digital Creation Pitching Session:

    We are looking for native web formats, new media narratives and multi-platform content projects, as well as projects in 360, VR, AR, XR, Binaural Sound or Big Format (Dome) films in the genre of performing arts.
  • Performing Arts Documentary Pitching Session:

    We are interested in linear documentary stories exploring any aspect of the performing arts – be it an artist's portrait or a historical/genre specific documentary focusing on any music + dance content. We welcome proposals in development or production, that combine quality, originality and innovation.

Digital Creation: The selected pitches

Mountain Symphony

sounding images

The film deconstructs the well-known postcard world of the Alps by approaching them through sounds. We experience a symphony of sounds; an expedition into a wonderful world of sounds; a concert of wind, rain, thunder, and the most diverse creatures; beauty - but also vulnerability. And destruction: cracking, rhythmic sounds of trees in drought stress combine to form a percussion concert, a soundtrack of climate change. The sounds of melting glaciers are a lament that creeps under the skin.

ERWARTUNG – mono opera as single-player VR game

Staatstheater Augsburg

"Erwartung" pushes the concept of immersion into opera into a new dimension; our single-player VR game allows users to not only passively experience Arnold Schoenberg’s musical monodrama, but to play it, to embody its heroine and to interact with the story incompletely new ways. Immerse yourself in a mystical world, experience a psychedelic horror story and become part of Arnold Schoenberg's opera, "Erwartung." Experience opera as a 360° VR game!

The Air Loom

FMR Production

THE AIR LOOM is exploring the new technologies defining our future, as we are letting them trace, track and collect our identity. Transgressing into the personal realm of our inner thoughts, doubts and demons, the installation piece examines the relationship between perception and paranoia, the self and its mirror image, exhibition, and voyeurism.

Cave Music

Bodø24: European Capital of Culture

On the Arctic Circle, a cave is located. Under the northern lights, musicians are preparing for a special event. The cold weather turns exhaled air into smoke as they prepare gear. They submerge through a cut hole into ice-cold water. At the surface, people see the light vanishing into the abyss. The musicians disappear into the veins of mother earth. In a white marble water system, they cave dive half a kilometer in what looks like extraterrestrial scenery to get to their venue. One with a saxophone, one with a double bass, and one as a DJ. They come to a massive hall and perform a concert for 30 divers. However, through VR, 10 million people are watching this globally - live.

Performing Arts Documentary: The selected pitches

Swan Song


SWAN SONG plunges viewers inside a world-leading ballet company as it mounts a momentous new production of the legendary Swan Lake. Staged by ballet icon KarenKain, this legacy-defining production marks both her farewell to the National Ballet of Canada after 50 years and her debut ballet as a director. We will follow a group of characters from the company - the new face of ballet - telling their personal stories as the suspense builds toward opening night. Combining an intimate verité eye with an elevated cinematic approach, SWAN SONG is an all-access, immersive view of the new face of ballet, as a company of artists put everything on the line to achieve the pinnacle of their careers.

Sanctuary of Butterflies

Caminante Films

Musician and folk hero Luis Perez-Ixoneztli takes us on a journey to explore the ancient musical traditions of Mexico’s Indigenous Peoples. In this visually striking, character-driven docuseries, Perez-Ixoneztli brings us face to face with shamans, elders, and communities who practice the rituals, songs, and languages of their ancestors. The characters he meets are sometimes the last living links to their traditions, while others persist in preserving their heritage in today’s rapidly changing world. Luis’ fascinating life and career, defined by the study of pre-Colombian culture and creating groundbreaking music, informs and compliments this journey.

Fatma Said – Reviving a Forgotten Treasure

3B-Produktion – Büro für bewegtes Bild

The film follows acclaimed soprano Fatma Said on her relentless mission to save and pay tribute to a powerful treasure of Arabic culture that is threatened to disappear: the astonishingly creative work of Mohamed Abdelwahab. The singer, actor and composer, a legend in the Arab world, shaped the golden age of the Egyptian film musicals of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. But many of his works risk being lost because they were not written down or have come into the hands of speculators bent on exploiting copyrights. With her own artistic talent, Fatma Said uses unusual ways to track down Abdelwahab's music, save it from possible disappearance, celebrate it anew and rediscover it for new generations.

Breaking Music Series

AMC Networks International – Latin America

Classically trained artists go on different research trips to places of their choosing, financed by a patron that puts the condition that they have to return to their country and tell their trip with music in a live concert. In Breaking Music 01, the German baritone Benjamin Apple traveled to Buenos Aires to dive into Tango and compared it with the German Lied. In Breaking Music 02, the Latvian violin and cello players Kristine and Margarita Balanas fly to Brooklyn to immerse themselves in the world of Klezmer music. In Breaking Music 03, Sergio Trujillo - a Colombian choreographer living in New York – decides to investigate Bahian music and dance in Brazil guided by the musician Carlinhos Brown.

How does ist work?

  • The joint Selection Committee pre-selects 4 proposals per pitching session among all submitted projects, which are then eligible to be presented at the Pitching Sessions during Avant Première 2023.

  • In order to increase exposure + business opportunities for the eligible projects, the pre-selected pitches will be published on the IMZ website and in the Avant Première Agenda + Programme Schedule.

  • In addition, the Jury, consisting of international industry experts, can request a One-on-One Follow-Up Session, in which further details can be discussed.

  • Furthermore, one project from each session will win the chance to pitch once more in front of an international expert jury at Sunny Side of the Doc, taking place from 19-22 June 2023 in La Rochelle, France, as well as two free accreditations each for the event.


The two Juries consist of 4-5 internationally renowned experts + decision makers from the realm of performing arts documentary films and digital creation each. See our confirmed jurors below; more to come soon!


Jean-Jacques Peretti

Programming at Sunny Side of the Doc

At Sunny Side of the Doc, the internationally renowned market place for documentary + factual content, Jean-Jacques Peretti is in charge of the editorial line and programming of the events together with Mathieu Béjot, Head of Strategy & Development. Previously, Jean-Jacques has worked in Paris as a production manager with many companies for many years.

Sebastian Sorg

Freelance Consultant, Sebastian Sorg Creative

Sebastian Sorg is a freelance expert on Film, XR and Cultural Production in Munich. He managed the film market at DOK.fest Munich and leans back on a longer experience in national and European funding for film and XR. 

Expert Jury Digital Creation

Enrica Damini 

Project Specialist Digital Transformation, European Broadcasting Union 

Enrica is a project specialist in the digital team at the European Broadcasting Union. She is passionate about securing and promoting public service media and its high-quality content. With extensive experience across the performing arts and in cultural policy, Enrica has worked in a number of transformation roles in the media & events industries.

Sönke Kirchhof

CEO + Executive Producer, INVR.SPACE

Sönke Kirchhof is CEO and executive producer of the award-winning VR Full Service Studio INVR.SPACE GmbH. He has been working in the fields of stereoscopic filmmaking, VFX, CGI Postproduction, Research and Development in arts and technology for more than 20 years and 10 years in XR.

Kay Meseberg

Head of Mission Innovation, ARTE

Kay Meseberg has worked on many award-winning digital productions over the last 20 years. He joined ARTE in 2013, where he contributed to the first-ever VR documentary “Polar Sea 360” and now works on immersive media as well as leads ARTE’s Mission Innovation. Kay is also a visiting lecturer for the Center of Collaborative Arts + Media at Yale University and Innovation Ambassador for the IMZ.

Martin Zimper

Professor + Head of Cast/ Audiovisual Media, Zürich University of the Arts

Member of the academic steering committee of ETH’s Media Technology Center. Keynote speaker on “Storytelling,” among others: Frankfurt Book Fair, Shanghai Theatre Academy, CityU Hong Kong, AFTRS Sydney, UC Berkeley, ETH, Disney Research.


Marion Camus-Oberdorfer

Sales Director GST / Music & Performing Arts + Distribution Investment, ORF Enterprise  

03/2019 – present: Sales Director GST / Music & Performing Arts, Distribution Investment ORF-Enterprise GmbH & CoKG
01/2011 – 02/2019: Head of Content Sales International ORF-Enterprise GmbH & CoKG
2010-2011: Sales Manager TV-Music, international ORF-Enterprise GmbH & CoKG

Jean-Jacques Peretti

Programming at Sunny Side of the Doc

At Sunny Side of the Doc, the internationally renowned market place for documentary + factual content, Jean-Jacques Peretti is in charge of the editorial line and programming of the events together with Mathieu Béjot, Head of Strategy & Development. Previously, Jean-Jacques has worked in Paris as a production manager with many companies for many years.

Expert Jury Performing Arts Documentary

Agnė Biliūnaitė

Сulture Editor-in-Chief, LRT - Lithuanian National Radio and Television

From 2019, Agnė Biliūnaitė has been responsible for selecting culture and social documentary programmes, concerts and performances for the LRT PLIUS TV channel. She is also an active participant in national and international culture, particularly in the performing arts. Feeling the pulse of this field and understanding related challenges, the newest trends, international projects and technical aspects helps a great deal in identifying the best practices for presenting performing arts.

Emma Cahusac

Commissioning Editor for Arts, Music and Dance, BBC Factual TV

Emma Cahusac has worked in TV for over 25 years as a producer, director + executive. She has produced programming for all major UK channels and US broadcasters for factual and specialist factual genres with subjects ranging from the visual arts, theatre, classical dance to pop music.

Patrick Mao Huang

Producer, Flash Forward Entertainment

Taiwan producer Patrick Mao HUANG founded the production/distribution/sales company Flash Forward Entertainment in 2002. He specializes in co-production between east and west. Huang’s producing credits include IN THE MORNING OF LA PETIT MORT selected by the 2022 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival - Critic’s Choice Competition, MONEYBOYS selected by the 2021 Cannes Un Certain Regard, SUBURBAN BIRDS from 2018 Locarno, and THE ROAD TO MANDALAY from 2016 Venice Days. Huang often mentors in various international labs and project markets. 

Jyrki Nokkonen

Acquisitions Executive Music and Entertainment, YLE – Finnish Broadcasting

Since 1990, Jyrki Nokkonen has acquired music and dance programmes from classical to popular (performances and documentaries) for Yle’s three national tv channels TV1, TV2, the cultural channel Yle Teema (est.2001) and also for Yle’s free online service Yle Areena (est.2007).

Coralie Petit

Commissioning Editor, ARTE France

After she completed her literature, cinema and audiovisual studies at La Sorbonne, Coralie Petit started working in TV production in 1993. She initially worked as a Production Manager for various production companies before joining the Arts and Performing Arts department of the Franco-German channel ARTE in 2006. She is now a commissioning editor and oversees live transmissions of classical music concerts and theatre and dance productions.

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