Baltic Sea Forum – Commissioning Editors

… so who were they, the people at the table who were supportive and constructively critical, well simply wanted to help and in many cases asked for meetings and to be kept updated on the development of the projects. If and when the positive reactions turn into letters of commitments and at the end into contracts that is of course another story, but for many projects this first step was also a proof of the potential of the project – and many returned home in a state of creative confusion, as the advices were different:

Cynthia Kane from ITVS in the US was as usual always warmly encouraging the pitchers and showed her passion for good social and human interest stories. Her US colleague from Sundance Institute, Cara Mertes, analysed quickly the projects’ weak and strong points, as did Alex Szalat from Arte france, who as Reinhart Lohmann from ZDF/Arte fought their best to see where the slot-linked European cultural channel par exellence with a strong tradition for creative documentaries could place the projects. Not easy… more easy for veteran forum panelist Wim van Rompaey, Lichtpunt in Belgium, who go for 52 minute documentaries that have an ethical angle to be discussed, and who never leave a forum without bringing one or two projects to his committee. Katja Wildermuth from MDR in Germany is for many an exemplary clear-talking commissioning editor as she always communicates yes, I would like to talk more, or No, this is not for me. Flora Gregory represented Al Jazeera and went for the more reporting documentaries, Charlotte Gry Madsen from DR/TV brought some optimism advertising the new historical and cultural digital channel, Austrian distributor (Autlook) Peter Jäger was looking for artistic theatrical documentaries and Russian Grigory Libergal (photo) was an excellent commentator on content and brought knowledge on Russian situation to the table. The three Baltic channels (represented by Marje Jurtshenko, Anna Rozenvalde and Tadas Patalavicius) did their job and supported their producing colleagues, and neighbouring YLE editor, Outi Saarikoski, was again wonderfully unpredictable and funny in her remarks.

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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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