138.506 Spectators at DocsBarcelona

Take a look at the photo above. Taken by the photographer F Fagregas: A concert with The Boss, Bruce Springsteen at Nou Camp. Where I have been several times with Joan Gonzalez, director of DocsBarcelona. Last night at the award ceremony he announced that the audience for DocsBarcelona 2020 Online was so big that the famous stadium for Barca i.e., where Messi plays, where Ronaldinho and Laudrup have played, would have been too small as it can “only” room a bit more than 90.000. The number of spectators for DocsBarcelona online, available for viewers in Spain, was 138.506! Of course it is not totally comparable but the amount of cinemagoers at the festival four years ago was 10.000 and 2 years ago the number passed 25.000 cinemagoers. Mr. Data, as Gonzalez sometimes calls himself, was right when he wrote that this forms a giant step for the documentary genre and he continued that the online will stay, NOT as the first priority, that will still be to show the festival films in the cinemas, but as a means to reach new audiences, to create a documentary culture!

It would be interesting to know, of course, from where in Spain the audience comes. Gonzalez, on the basis of twitters, if I got it right, said that he thinks 60% are from Catalonia, 40 % from the rest of Spain.

From me, as Head of Programming, I am happy to see artistic, personal documentaries like “Winter Journey”, “Songs of Repression”, “Advocate”, “Rising from the Tsunami” and “Vivos” attract more than 4000 spectators in the few days they were available. The winner – b/w, experiment in editing, for many “special” – had close to 2500 spectators.

Long live the art of documentary cinema.


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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