American Documentary Film Festival 2015/ 2

It all started  at 10am Wednesday March 26 with the Film Fund Competition (with around 15.000$ awards to be distributed) in the Camelot Theatres, the main venue for the festival. Moderated by Teddy Gruyoa, festival director, 12 projects were presented in a way that is pretty much different from the usual European way. Where ”we” give the pitchers 7 minutes of presentation (talk and trailer of maximum 3,5 minutes) the pitch here starts with 5 minutes of trailer/teaser/visuals, whatever you will call it, followed by another 5 minutes of questions from professionals in the audience. This year there were critic Neil Young (Hollywood Reporter), university professor John Osborne who after retirement is involved in several productions and has helped with the selection of films for this year’s Amdoc program, Joel Douglas (son of Kirk and Michael’s brother of ”One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”), Adam Montgomery from the Sundance Festival – and me.

The format is interesting and raises the question, whether ”we” should change our European format. There is something challenging in the fact that the importance is put to the visuals – and to be rude as commentator you can see from the material who can make films and who not, or who is stuck in the television world. In other words, don’t talk about it, show it, could be the headline for this kind of pitch. Is there too much talking at European pitches?

Overall the projects presented were issue-born: child pornography, hunting/poaching of lions in Africa, the life of Iraqi interpreters after the soldiers have left the country, constitutional rights to unborn children, seriously handicapped war veterans lives to be helped… but also a fresh look at the phenomenon of burlesque, a ballet dancer who is injured will he be able to make a comeback?, a gay rights activist, charismatic Ray Hill and one that stood out cinematically (for my European eyes) because it had no interviews and no wall-to-wall music, the ”Pow Wow” (photo), a local production.

The winners of the Film Fund competition will be announced at the closing night ceremony this coming monday.

http://www.americandocumentaryfilmfestival.com

 

 

 

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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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