ARTE “Generation Ukraine” at DOKLeipzig/ 2

I was there in my armchair with my computer to follow the DOK Industry Talk yesterday afternoon about Generation Ukraine, “a new initiative by the ARTE Group aimed at supporting the Ukrainian filmmaking industry by co-producing 12 documentaries that explore Ukrainian reality in the throes of the ongoing war”, to quote the festival press release. I wanted to hear the visions behind 6 of the 12, including introductions and clips. Was looking forward for a long time as there were quite a lot of words from representatives of the ARTE group, but for once you got to see and hear the many commissioning editors behind the project that “… are financed by the ARTE group (ARTE France, ARTE GEIE and ARTE Germany), through co-productions or pre-sales, and in collaboration with the broadcaster’s European partners. Projects completed by autumn 2024 will be included in the ARTE Media Library. All films will be broadcast on ARTE at a later date…”. So patience was needed before the filmmakers came to the stage to present their works-in-progress. Unfortunately the technique failed a couple of times, black screen, so I did not get an impression of all 6 but two of them drew my attention:

“The Days I would Like to Forget”, directors Alina Gorlova, Yelizaveta Smith, Maksym Nakonechnyi, Simon Mozgovyi, production Eugene Rachkovsky, Maksym Nakonechnyi, Karina Kostyna (Tabor Films / UKR), Ralph Wieser (Mischief Films / GER), SWR / ARTE… SWR represented by Bernd Seidl, who was at Baltic Sea Docs this year and made a very strong impression with his comments. Eugene Rachkovsky and Maksym Nakonechnyi were there as well as veteran Austrian producer Ralph Wieser. Maksym Nakonechnyi is very well known for his strong feature “Butterfly Vision”, Alina Gorlova for her masterly done documentary “This rain will never Stop” – the upcoming film is a collective film, a triptych with the themes “Human and War”, “Death and Life” and “Space and Time”, festival versions in the coming three years and the tv version in 2026. From the site of Tabor “…different personal experiences combine a holistic collective one, showing war´s influence and presence on all levels of existence”. (PHOTO from Tabor website). The team showed a strong clip. I have high expectations… the same goes for

“Another Man’s Diary”, directors Oleksandr Tkachenko, Dmytro Dokunov, production Illia Gladshtein (Phalanstery films / UKR), BR / ARTE, that I knew in beforehand as it was pitched at the Baltic Sea Docs in Riga. Tkachenko and Gladshtein presented the film-to-be with Dokunov as the protagonist, “a soldier, pacifist, vegetarian” and cinematographer, who is filming himself and reflecting on whether he can keep his humanity. The clip that was also shown in Riga uses split screen, it’s a very exciting and original approach.

I would have loved to write about “The Blessed Ones” as well – director Andrii Lysetskyi, production Olha Beskhmelnytsina, Gennady Kofman, (MaGiKa-film / UKR), Uldis Cekulis (VFS Films / LAT), Erik Winker (Corso-Film / GER), MDR / ARTE with four contemporary artists, it was pitched in Riga 2022, it looked nice but there were many words but no subtitles… alas

Heidi Fleisher was the moderator saying that this was not a pitching session – well, all the presenters mentioned that they were looking for more funding, sales agents etc. so the pitching aspect was indeed there, fair enough and that will probably also be there at the 3-day workshop that starts today at the impressive MDR building in Leipzig. Good luck and Slava Ukraine.

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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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