Baltic Sea Docs Workshop Started Today

– and we bring the welcome catalogue text by the director of the National Film Centre of Latvia, Dita Rietuma entitled “With a Taste of Certainty”

I warmly welcome the Baltic Sea Docs participants and Forum team! Baltic Sea Docs continues on – now for the 21st time, bringing together documentary filmmakers, popularizing documentary films and offering a special film programme Flavours of Conviction for a wider audience in Riga and several other Latvian cities.

This year’s festival poster features an eccentric, grey-haired woman with giant glasses – those in tune with the fashion industry may recognize fashion and lifestyle icon Iris Apfel, while in turn, those familiar with documentary film history will perhaps pause in reverence upon seeing the name of the film’s director – Albert Maysles. Yes, he is one of the legendary Maysles brothers who made documentary film history with their direct cinema style films of the 1970s.

Iris was Albert Maysles’ second last movie – a clear testament to both the direct cinema tradition and to the power of creativity, irony, style and vitality, which this inspiring lady named Iris undoubtedly possesses. For the most part, these qualities are also reflected in the 25 projects selected for Baltic Sea Docs.

In total, 25 creative teams will be presenting their projects – from the Baltic States, Belarus,

Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and other countries. This year’s Baltic Sea Docs projects represent 20 countries including many co-productions, which is a testament to the fact that Baltic Sea Docs continues to carry out one of its most essential tasks – to further creative cooperation between documentary filmmakers of various countries, and to promote the documentary film circuit (film screenings) on various platforms in various European countries.

One of Baltic Sea Docs’ assignments is to also follow up on the path/fate of film projects presented in previous Forums. This year, audiences will get a chance to see the Danish-Russian-Ukrainian co-production, On the Edge of Freedom, which participated in last year’s BSF project presentation (under the name Russian Revolution).

The film distribution and screening scene in Europe is trying to adapt to the changes brought on by the digital era. We’re happy that among the Baltic Sea Docs panel of experts we have, not for the first time, documentary film specialists from the influential TV and film distribution companies – YLE, ERR, ARTE G.E.I.E, SVT, Taskovski Films, Rise and Shine, et al. We’re happy that there will also be new guests – representatives from Current Time TV, Slingshot Films, Influence Film Foundation, Syndicado Films, et al.

I hope that this Baltic Sea Docs too becomes a worthy experience! May it inspire new ideas, further cooperation between documentary filmmakers, presenters and distributors, and help powerful documentary films reach their audiences! 

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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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