Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries

It was the 15th edition of the Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries that ended in Riga yesterday with the presentation of a new project by Herz Frank, ”Without Fear”, to be co-directed by the master himself and Maria Kravchenko, with Guntis Trekteris, Ego Media, as the producer. The catalogue annotation goes like this: ”In 2004 Larissa Trembovler, philosophy professor and mother of four, leaves her husband and marries Yigal Amir – the assasin of Yitzhak Rabin. Three years later she gives birth to their son.” The film is in its early production stage and will definitely receive international support when more material is watchable.

Apart from this presentation from the man, who has inspired generations of filmmakers with his impressive work, the Forum also this time formed the first step for new young talents, in many cases accompanied by experienced producers like Estonian Peeter Urbla, Latvian Antra Cilinska and Lithuanian Rasa Miskinyte.

But there were also filmmakers who came on their own. Gunilla Bresky from Sweden presented ”I Stop Time”, a film that is ”a unique testimony” from the war photographer during the Second World War, Vladislav Mikosha, based on his photos and footage. As well as Georgian Alex Kvatashidze who showed amazing material shot by war reporters, and interviews with some of them reflecting the personal consequences of the profession.

Lithuanian producer Dagne Vildziunaite took part with two very promising projects. One is ”Toys” about people in a small Belorussian city. The young director Lina Luzyte showed me a rough cut  (around 70 minutes) of the film – very promising it was, a new talent from a strong documentary country. The other film project brought by Vildziunaite was ”Father” that is being edited right now, a former criminal, 20 years in jail, 13 children, ”an insatiable lust for life”. Director Marat Sargyan.

Russian producer Vlad Ketkovich also brought two projects to the table, ”Heralds from the Big World” by Tatyana Soboleva, a story about a floating hospital, the people working there and the patients boarding the ship, and ”Men’s Choice” by Elena Demidova, about men going to the North to do shift work. The energetic producer deserves credit for bringing Russian talented directors to the international documentary community.

Photo from the production of Ego Media, “Chronicles from the Last Temple” about the Latvian National Library, the coming city monument of Riga, director: Davis Simanis.

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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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