Voila, the 1st International Documentary Film Festival in the Caucasus started last night in the Rustaveli cinema in Tbilisi. Totally full was the cinema hall for the opening ceremony that included a promise from festival director Artchil Khetagouri, that a bigger hall will be available next year – and a good atmosphere filling the cinema for the opening filmSongs of Redemption” by Amanda Sans (who was present) & Miquel Galofre. The catalogue text goes like this: “Songs Of Redemption” is a Jamaican documentary that captures the story of redemption and rehabilitation of inmates of the General Penitentiary located in Kingston, Jamaica. It features riveting interviews and powerful reggae music created, performed, and produced in a unique partnership by inmates and wardens.

At the other end of the Rustaveli Boulevard a workshop goes on during daytime at the fine venue of the Goethe Institute. 10 Georgian documentary projects are being developed with the help from tutors like British Peter Symes, Latvian Uldis Cekulis, Serbian Goran Radovanovic, Belgian Paul Pauwels and Danish Tue Steen Müller, who are writing these lines. I was (also) asked to talk about the state of the art of documentaries and did so through the showing of newly digitized versions of Lithuanian classics like Robertas Verba’s 1969 short documentary about the 100 years old people, and Arunas Matelis 1990 “The Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus” – as well as clips from “Argentinian Lesson” by Wojciech Staron and “Father and Son” (both versions) by Pawel and Marcel Lozinski. Not to forget the fantastic opening of Timo Novotny’s “Life in Loops”, the remix of “Megacities” by Michael Glawogger.

Photo: Opening dinner for the workshoppers… We eat well in Tbilisi!


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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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