Baltic Sea Forum 2010

As always perfectly organised by the team at the National Film Centre of Latvia, and supported by the EU MEDIA Programme, the Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries was held in Riga September 7-12. There was a festival programme of new films (previously mentioned here), very well attended and with the presence of filmmakers to meet the audience. And there was the presentation of 21 projects to a panel of commissioning editors from tv stations in Europe: ETV (Estonian TV), ZDF/ARTE, DR (Denmark), SVT Sweden, YLE Finland, LTV Lithuania, Arte France, LTV Latvia, Lichtpunt Belgium –and the American based film funds ITV and Sundance, the Jan Vrijman Fund attached to the festival in Amsterdam idfa, and a representative from the sales company Autlook in Austria. Finally the documentary expert Grigory Libergal from Russia contributed positively giving advise on festivals and channels. Libergal was happy to announce that the prestigious Moscow International Film festival next year will include a competitive documentary section and that the channel Kultura will go for the acquisition of creative documentaries.

The panel responded to the projects presented, asked questions, agreed in general on a high quality… and reflected on a whole, covering different parts of the European broadcasting landscape, that there is a crisis for (creative documentary) financing. A decade ago the tv representatives would take risks and enter into pre-buys on occasions like this (”I like it, I take it”), this does not happen any longer. The talent is there, the good projects as well – but the message is clear: it will take time before we are able to commit. The producers need to develop more, have more material to show, pitch in other places, make coproductions that can open the national film funds. That is why the Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries is such an important place to go and meet the market reality, have colleagues to comment on your project and get ready for a long journey. The EU MEDIA programme, through its financing, plays a central role for making projects and films cross borders. Photo: Rada Sesic, filmmaker, expert in Indian films, tutor at the Baltic Sea Forum for many years as well as representative for the Jan Vrijman Fund that has been a very important supporter of documentaries from the Eastern part of Europe.

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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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