Baltic Sea Docs Riga/ 2

The first day of pitching at the 20th edition of the Baltic Sea Forum ended with the presentation of the project ”Baltic New Wave”. The initiator and co-director of the film-to-be Kristine Briede was the presenter in front of four mature men, Arunas Matelis from Lithuania, Riho Västrik from Estonian, Uldis Cekulis from Latvia and Lithuanian co-director Audrius Stonys. The project had been developed for a long time, the financing is of course more depending on contribution from the three Baltic film institutions and the tv stations in the countries than on international financing… and yet as Sari Volanen from Finnish YLE said, it could be a theme evening with the film and some of the (short) films that will be cited from. To give you more information, here is the synopsis from the catalogue:

”A story about the Baltic School of Poetic Documentary and its creators – filmmakers who broke the propaganda documentary tradition in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The story is told by two filmmakers – contemporary director Audrius Stonys (LT), and Herz Frank (LV / ISR), his late friend and mentor, who is guiding Audrius according to the Map of Ptolemy – a cinematographic code-book suggesting new discoveries both in poetic filmmaking and its meaning. Frank’s personal archives, uncovered by Audrius in Frank’s home in Israel, are a key to the timeless questions raised by every generation.”

The filmmakers presented in the film will be Andres Sööt and Mark Soosaar from Estonia, Henrikas Sablevicius and Robertas Verbas from Lithuania,  Ivars Seleckis, Aivars Freimanis and Uldis Brauns from Latvia… and maybe more of that generation.

Allow me to be emotional: The films of the mentioned masters as well the films of Stonys and Matelis were films I got to know on the island of Bornholm during the 1990’es. I am a true lover of the Baltic documentary tradition.

Photo: Agnese Zeltina… thanks!

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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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