Cinéma du Réel Report 3

Saturday morning in the café. The sun is shining in Paris today. In 90 minutes we have booked the videotheque to catch up with some films in the international competition. And then a couple of films later this day. Here are some words from yesterday…

… which was not that easy a day to be visitor at Cinéma du Réel. It made me think of the late Danish cinema owner of the Grand in Copenhagen, still the most important Danish cinema for art films, his name was Peter Refn and he always said – with a smile – that you had to suffer for the art! He was referring to bad projection or lack of comfort.

We “suffered” yesterday. We had to stand in queus for a long time to get in to the Cinéma 2. The people like us who have an accreditation have the second priority after the paying audience, which is absolutely ok but the balance between sold tickets and badges have to be established in a way so the guests of the festival, coming from far away continents, can get a seat. Many who don’t know the system – like we do – were rejected entrance.

This is one of the problems that the festival has: It has one big hall, where you can almost always get a seat, and then two smaller that lack seats and comfort (=oxygene). There should be one in between big and small.

On the other hand, no more complaints, because it is nice to be to a festival that is a pitching free zone, where the focus is totally on the films that have been made. Yesterday the entertaining Swiss film “Glorious Exit” by Kevin Merz was followed by a short film programme by Danish/Polish Jacob Dammas (“Kredens”), which had some charm, Oksana Buraja (“Kretos Sala”), a new Lithuanian talent, and American “Minot, North Dakota” by Madansky and Brudniak, which there is no reason at all to say something about.

The last film we saw, however, first film by Polish Jacek Naglowski and Andrzej Dybczak, “Gugara”, was a beautiful visit to the Evenki people in far away taiga in Russia. Classical and as usual well crafted cinematography. Still: Naglowski og Dybczak: Gugara

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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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