CinéDOC Summer School 2020

They had no choice the good people behind the Georgian documentary film festival CinéDOC. They already had organised three summer schools, this was to be the fourth and it had to be online… the intensive workshop dedicated to promising filmmakers from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Intensive? Indeed it was! 12 film projects. 4 tutors. And a (great) team of organisers led by Ileana Stanculescu and Artchil Khetagouri, the two filmmakers and directors of the festival CinéDOC that has not yet taken place because of the pandemic. Postponed. But not this summer school workshop.

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A challenge it is to make a summer school – of course – with five full days of Zoom meetings, a short day with summing up and a small relax for the organisers and the filmmakers, who will be given pitch training and meet a panel of 12: broadcasters, festival programmers, distributors and representatives from similar documentary initiatives. On Sunday July 5th.

The summer school was much better than expected, many of the filmmakers said at the evaluation this morning. Was that because we had no real idea about how hours and hours staring into a computer would work out.

“We” – I was one of the tutors – together with international producers Bulgarian Martichka Bozhilova and Latvian Uldis Cekulis, and Serbian/Dutch editor Srdjan Fink. My worry was more if the technique would work. Would our internet connections be strong enough? Would the Zoom format be good enough? As a technical idiot I had no idea but – there were problems but they were small – all went smoothly.

What did we do? The usual business, I would say from a long life of workshops. We talked, we watched trailers/teasers, scenes, rough material. And again – from my personal point of view – we learned a lot. Again I was invited to have a look into the realities as they are seen and interpreted by emerging filmmakers and filmmakers with more experience. From the three Caucasus countries. 

Working method: the 12 had been divided according to country and experience, into groups of 3, shifting tutors to get different input from different temperaments, tutors and colleagues – and every morning there was a one hour class made by the mentioned tutors. 

It is a great privilege to be asked to be part of a summer school like this. The projects yes, but also to meet young and younger filmmakers, even if it is online (we all prefer to meet face to face) to meet each other from home or in the offices with different backgrounds, different ways of sitting, different ways of talking, smiling, concentrating. Still this is for me the way to evaluate a project: Can this person to whom I am talking and listening, whose face I am looking at, whose visual material I am looking at, can she make it? 

I am writing She, because there were 9 female directors and 3 male!

On my FB post you can see everyone taking part in the workshop. On the photo above you see

me, Natuka Gabunia (a Georgian Anna Magnani), Medea Sharikadze (the two women are part of the organising team, warm and superprofessional), Gayne Petrosyan with an amazing personal story about her son who was born a girl, entitled „The Transition“, editor Srdjan Fink, producer Anna Khazaradzetogether with, below, director Luka Beradze, with the absurd „Smiling Georgia“ from a poor region, where teeth were pulled out promising the locals to have them replaced, so far it did not happen, the couple Elene Margvelashvili and Keko Chelidze with a project in early development, „Exposed“, about a 40 year old single mother who builds up her selfconfidence through bodybuilding, Ileana Stanculescu, the always engaged, committed and warm initiator and organiser of it all, Afaq Yusifli, who showed her cinematic skills in a teaser of „Granddaughter“, which will be a short film (general remark: loved to see short films coming up!), Chinara Majidova from Azerbaijan talking from Budapest, about to make a film „My Neighborhood“, the Sovjetski in Baku with material shot over 5 years and finally Turkan Huseynova, also from Azerbaijan, also with a project that has an area in Baku as the location, „Papanin“ and again a short film to be by an obvious visual talent… Personal note: Wow, what a lot of talent from Azerbaijan this year!

If you want to know more about CinéDOC Tbilisi and what the festival is doing in terms of screening films in the capital and around the country go to

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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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