Baltic Sea Docs 2014/ 1

I am sitting on the 11th floor of Hotel Albert in Riga. We are into the third day of the workshop that preceeds the pitching of the weekend. 22 projects will be presented after two days of intense discussions of the projects. Today is the day where the filmmakers take their time to make the final adjustments of the verbal/visual presentation including the re-editing of trailers where they have had the chance to get assistance from Swedish/Canadian editor Phil Jandaly.

Everything has been – as always – perfectly organised by Lelda Ozola and Zanda Dudina from the Film Centre, and the weather has been superb. I am looking at the churches of Riga and at the new National Library that we had the possibility to see from inside the other day. It is magnificent, wow to be a student sitting in one of the many reading rooms with a view to Daugava river and the skyline of the Latvian capital.

Riga is the Cultural Capital of Europe and the film activity is influenced by this. Tonight I am to watch ”Across the Roads, Across the River”, the omnibus film about Riga with short films by the directors Sergei Loznitsa (Ukraine), Audrius Stonys (Lithuania), Rainer Komers (Germany), Bettina Henkel (Austria), Jaak Kilmi (Estonia), Jon Bang Carlsen (Denmark) and Ivars Seleckis (Latvia). Before the screening I will have the pleasure to meet with Seleckis, the grand old man of Latvian documentary cinema, soon to be 80 years old. The reason is that he is the obvious Latvian choice to be part of the film about the masters of the poetic cinema in the Baltic countries. Seleckis is the man behind the trilogy from the Crossroad Street among many many films he has made about Latvian history and culture. On a personal level I owe to Seleckis that he was the first to take me and my wife on a tour round Latvia to see the beauty of the country.

The producer behind the film on the Baltic poetic documentary cinema is Uldis Cekulis. On the photo you see him relax outside the rooms in the farmhouse where we stayed on the island of Manija in Estonia, when visiting Mark Soosaar. Cekulis was the cameraman on the research trip.

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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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