Baltic Sea Forum – Humour in Pitching

I can’t mention all projects that were pitched at the Baltic Sea Forum, and there is not enough space to highlight the many that did receive very positive feedback, but I will write about a couple – see above – that went very well and which some of you documentary professionals will meet on other marketplaces, and some of you members of the documentary audience will get to meet as finished works,  hopefully as artistically interesting and ambitious as they were this weekend, when presented on the top floor of Hotel Albert in Riga.

So here first some remarks on pitching in public fora: The ones which are easiest to convey are the ones that are able to provide a strong and precise verbal pitch accompanied by a – yes, it helps, but of course you can’t adapt that tone for all subjects – trailer full of humour. Estonian Kiur Aarma, who worked with Jaak Kilmi on ”Disco and Atomic War”, had this time teamed up with Hardi Volmer (”Man from Animazone” on Estonian animation artist Priit Pärn) to bring forward a project (”The Gold Spinners”) on the production of commercials in the USSR. The broadcasters queued to express their enthusiasm after a superb trailer. Experience says it takes time but it looks so obvious that this film could be made asap with international funding. It is funny, informative, personal and Aarma just showed quality with the ”Disco…” film. Similarly great director Yuri Khashchavatski from Belarus (photo, search his name on this site) with his Estonian producer Marianna Kaat stands strong with the non-humourously toned film on the political brainwashing of the Russian population with the Georgian war as the starting point. Talking about authors with own hand writing, it was a pleasure for the Forum to include Estonian Kersti Uibo (”The Dark Side of the Hill”), Russian Andrei Nekrasov (”The Golden Autumn of Socialism”), Russian Alina Rudnitskaya (”The Blood of a Stranger”) and Latvian Peteris Krilovs (”Willing Collaborationists”).   

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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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