Audrius Stonys Masterclass at M7

”This is a sacred place, like a church and suddenly we hear this crazy sound. This man takes tourists to this place. He is the sign of civilisation. A sign of a new time. The reality is that these guys are coming. Something precious will disappear…”

Lithuanian Audrius Stonys is a mild man but when he talks about the end of his film his voice is full of sadness and anger. As we experienced at the masterclass with him at the VIP room at the Sava Centre. A class that turned out to be dealing with what it means to be filming at the heights of Tian Shan mountain on the border between Kazakhstan and China, where his ”Woman and the Glacier” is shot and to where his main character, Lithuanian glaciologist Ausra Revutaite, came 30 years ago.

He made four expeditions to the mountains. “It took two

expeditions to find out that she did not want to speak or take part… First she was glad to be able to speak Lithuanian and she took us around… we had to obey the rules of the mountain and she knew the weather”. But for the two last expeditions they were there to film the mountains – for the dop, Audrius Kemezys, the challenge was to make the natural beauty into a cinemaric language. Sometimes we got one shot per day!

“The lack of oxygen affects you. I felt heavy. All the time you feel like you have a big stone on the chest… and when you come down you feel like flying. I think it is called natural doping among the runners who train in thin air”.

Audrius Stonys had 20 hours of material, he started editing after the third expedition and said in the masterclass that he was looking for the soul of the place, he succeeded when a structure was found, when the images started to talk to each other. The final stage of the editing was done in 10 days, the editor was young Estonian Mirjam Jegorov. The director and editor did the job in a monastery where a film loving monk had installed an editing room!

“You can not force the landscape to change if the footage says something else…if you go closer to the glacier you see the texture. You have to be humble, you listen to what the mountains say and you use your intuition”.

… and you make your own associations when you watch this elegy. When the stones and the water flow dramatically down the mountains, I think of Artavadz Pelichian, when the camera move into the caves and one “painting” after the other reaches your eyes, surrealist artist Yves Tanguy comes to my mind, so on so forth.



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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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