Riga, Latvia. 29.08 – 4.09.2020. The 24th Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries. For “professional filmmakers from the Baltic Sea region, as well as from Eastern and Central Europe”. It started in Denmark, had some years in the Baltic capitals before it found its permanent home in Riga in 2005. I have been “part of the furniture” since the beginning. With pleasure.

There is a film program to be announced later as well as seminars and list of tutors and decision makers, who will take part in an event that this year will be hybrid with some people based in Riga and many people attached to the Zoom presentations and questions and answers.

Project manager Zane Balcus and her team have made the selection of projects, 24 as usual, you can see them all via the link below.

Let me mention names that I already know from previous gatherings:


Directors: Alexander Koridze, Georgia (picked up from the recent CinéDOC Georgia pitch), Allaksei Paluyan, Belarus, Una Celma Latvia, Ivars Seleckis Latvia (who pitched at the first edition 24 years ago), Nerijus Milerius Lithuania, Virginija Vareikyte and Maximilien Dejoie Lithuania, Keti Machavariani Georgia, Alina Rudnitskaya Russia, Marko Raat Estonia, Konrad Szolajski Poland.

Producers: Oscar Hedin Sweden, Rebecca Houzel, Max Tuula, Maria Gavrilova France, Estonia, Russia, Natalia Libet Ukraine, Andres Maimik Estonia, Matiss Kaza Latvia, Gints Grube, Elina Gedina Latvia, Stasys Baltakis Lithuania, Vladislav Ketkovich Russia, Pertii Vijalainan Finland, Dagné Vildziunaité Lithuania, Antra Cilinska Latvia, Stephane Siohan, Olga Beskhmelnytsina Ukraine, Ivo Felt Estonia, Malgorzata Prociak Poland.

As far as I can read from the brief annotations (again, click below) there are personal, political, social, historical, informative, creative documentary projects to be presented – and there are many new people joining the party… it will be a party and one more hommage to the art of documentary.

ONE project makes me more than curious: “Podnieks On Podnieks” to be directed Anna Viduleja with Juris Podnieks close collaborator Antra Cilinska as producer and produced by Juris Podnieks Studio. Podnieks is one of my heroes in documentary history and I am happy that I had the chance to meet him on the island of Bornholm during the early years of the Balticum Film & TV Festival. 

The description of the film goes like this: ““I am convinced that we can live through several lives. That’s the best thought that intrigues me. And with each passing life we go through some development. I would, no doubt, like to do more in this life. But if I don’t manage, then I will continue in the next one.” This was once said by the outstanding Latvian documentary film director Juris Podnieks who during his lifetime had gained the fame of the fighter for justice. This film will serve as a metaphor – a conversation before infinity and will be built as Podnieks’ story about himself, his films, society and life.”

Juris Podnieks 1950-1992


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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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