American Documentary Film Festival/ 4

As some other documentary festivals, DOKLeipzig is an example, Amdocs screens animation films. A good choice I thought after having attended a programme of 8 short ones from Germany, mostly from the film school in Baden-Württemberg. Puppet animation with beautiful handmade characters, dramatic stories, stop motion, ”normal” animation (this is not my genre as you could guess), several of them having this playfulness and wish to try something new and original that you often miss in documentary filmmaking. (Photo from the animation winner, ”Olgastrasse 18”, photo Jörg Rambaum)

Many things have impressed me during this my first time in Palm Springs. One of them is the interest of the filmmakers to attend the screenings. Festival director Teddy Grouya has managed to get many premieres to his festival, whether it is a US or North American or Californian or Palm Springs premiere. That adds to the good atmosphere in the cinema and gives some interesting Q&A’s that in most cases are more content-orientated than dealing with film language.

Palm Springs is indeed also a place for cultural events. Before the documentary festival there was a Jewish Film Festival and the International Palm Springs (feature) film festival and up comes also a short film festival. The citizens are used to go out, we were told by asking several of the volunteers. ”We eat out around 3 times per week”, several said, ”it’s nice and not very expensive”. Must be the reason for all those restaurants you see when being driven around. We tried a couple of them. No complaints on food or films.

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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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