Baltic Sea Docs/ 4

The Baltic Sea Pitching Forum ended Sunday afternoon. On the second day the hall on the 11th floor of Hotel Albert in Riga was again full of filmmakers, observers and a panel of tv editors, fund people and sales agents/distributors.

After the session I met some Estonian film students, who had attended and enjoyed the two days. I asked them for their favourite projects and they mentioned two: ”Biblioteka” by Ana Tsimintia from Georgia and ”Five” (photo) by Italian director Maximilien de Joie, a project presented by Lithuanian producer Dagne Vildziunaite.

These youngsters represent a coming audience and I thought that Heino Deckert, veteran German producer and director, again had demonstrated a good nose for what might work internationally by showing interest to help precisely these two projects. Deckert had fine helping colleagues around the table, let me just mention some of them – Shanida Scotland from BBC’s Storyville, who always analysed in a precise and constructive way, Anaïs Clanet from Wide House in Paris and the French/Belgian sales agent and promoter Thierry Detaille, who both left with projects to help out, not to forget Russian Grigory Libergal, who, if anyone, knows the possibilities in the big neighbouring country.

Let me give you the description of the film project ”Five”: 

“In the central avenue of Vilnius there is a palace, and behind the neo classical style facade, there used to be the Lithuanian KGB headquarters and it’s prison. Today, that building is the museum of LIthuanian Genocide Victims. Tourists from all over the world walk trough the entrance with a smile and curiosity, and leaves with shocked and stunned faces. Just like one of those tourists, an Italian filmmaker decided to make a documentary on this topic. After a tour in the basement of the museum, where the prison used to be, he decided to meet the people whose lives were bound by KGB during the last decade of Soviet Union. This film is a collage of five characters that were taking clashing positions, a collage of their reminiscenses and experiences. Its a provocative invitation to infiltrate theirs consciences and to perceive their attitute, an experience that can be inspiring with its positivity, but frightening by it’s own truth, that might be misbecoming for someone.”

Let me add what I always remember when passing the building, told to me by Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys: Next door to the prison building was/is a music conservatory, so when the prisoners were sitting in their cell, music came to their comfort.

Share your love
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.

Articles: 3861