American Documentary Film Festival 2015/ 4

A morning seminar moderated by English film critic Neil Young. Subject: International Film Festivals. What to remember if you go to them as an American documentarian. 20 people listening, asking questions. Basic information was given, especially from Neil Young, who visited 26 (!) film festivals during 2014. Yes, twentysix…

Tips from Young: Things you have to check out before or when you arrive to the festival: Find a cheap laundrette in the neighbourhood, it is far too expensive to use the service offered by the hotel. Remember to bring business cards and to make notes on those you receive and write a ”thank you for the meeting we had etc.” If the festival offers you three nights at a nice hotel, check the cheap and crappy hotels – and ask the festival if they will accept a change so you can stay for more nights for the same price. The quality of the hotel is not important as you are only there to sleep…

Veton Nurkollari, artistic director of the Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo, told that at his festival – and at many other, like the one here in Palm Springs  – you can stay with families. In Prizren there is also a camping possibility to use for almost no money. And why not share rooms, Young said, who has been with colleagues in twin rooms many times. By the way, he added, remember to break away from the festival industry and go visit the most horrible bars – if someone tells you not to go to that bar, go! The panel that also included Manolo Sarmiento from Ecuador, filmmaker and festival director of e-doc, also discussed the prices of a festival pass, provoked by the amount asked by the Sundance festival – 150$ was mentioned – and if you have to travel from Europe it is another 150$ and if you have to stay at a hotel… Sarmiento mentioned that 26$ gives you access to all events, Nurkollari said that people should not be shy to ask for a free pass. Idfa was mentioned many times as the place to go with or without a film, and go to the many receptions and you can easily reduce your costs for food.

Share your love
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.

Articles: 3863