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Cinéma du réel is opening a window dedicated to heritage documentaries and to those who make them, providing a showcase as well as a forum for exchange and reflection. Documentary cinema, no less than fiction, has its great filmmakers, its masterpieces, and a rich and valuable history. It also involves remarkable restoration initiatives and archival efforts that require support. While the heritage film market has mainly developed in connection with fiction films, Cinéma du réel’s new event is meant to encourgae heritage film distributors and exhibitors to expand their offer to documentary filmmaking.

First launched in 2020, this sectio provides promoters (professionals overseeing rereleases, restorations, DVD releases, monographic screenings, and the theatrical and online distribution of films) with public exposure, building up an environment that will help documentary heritage films reach a wider audience of viewers. The purpose of this conference is to bring together a variety of industry players sharing the same ambition and working at all stages of the production process (production, restoration, festival programming, distribution, exhibition, streaming platforms/VoD). The initiative is designed to foster the emergence of new projects through a multichannel distribution network likely to provide a variety of outlets.

The selection of projects is the subject of active research in cooperation with European institutions and private structures involved in the restoration and distribution of heritage films.