Conference on Film Schools in Saint Petersburg

I have for years been visiting Saint Petersburg – for the Message2Man festival or for seminars/workshops organized by dear friends Ludmila Nazaruk and Viktor Skubey. In 2016 Skubey organized the conference “How to Reach the Audience”, which was filmed and is to be found on

This year a one-day conference will take place with the headline “How to Educate Students to Meet the Cinema and TV Audience. Art and/or Craft”. With 4 speakers from outside Russia and 4 from Russia. Viktor Skubey (producer, president of the filmmakers non-fiction/tv guild and teacher at the St. Petersburg Institute of film and television, were the conference takes place) asked me to moderate the conference and pick the non-Russian speakers for a set-up that is classical: 30 minutes presentation, 15 minutes of discussion.

Polish Krzysztof Kopczynski will be the first foreign speaker. I have asked him

– apart from giving information on the many Polish film schools – to bring up basic questions like “can you learn to make films?”, “can you learn to make artistic films for a bigger audience…”. Do we need film schools?

Teaching at the International Film School in Cologne, Russian born Ruth Olshan, awarded director of fiction and documentary films, will give examples from the methodology, she uses, when she prepares students for a professional life outside the school.

The same goes for producer and director Riho Västrik from the Baltic film school in Tallinn, where he from 2009 has built up the documentary department and shared his experience from the many years as an active producer and co-producer in the international documentary world.

Finally Serbian filmmaker Andrijana Stojkovic, who has made documentary and fiction films, and teaches both “documentary filmmaking” and “contemporary expression of directing” will evaluate on the big step from being at a film school to the “jungle life” outside.

From Russia Pavel Pechenkin from the renowned Flahertiana in Perm will be present to talk about his building up a media education in Perm. As well as Elena Khoroshkina, who will talk on “creative thinking and innovative business development in education in culture”. From the hosting institution, Pavel Danilov (Dean of the faculty of screen arts and Head of the producers Department of the St. Petersburg Institute of film and television) will talk about a Complex (project) approach in film education. The basis of this approach is the formation of full-fledged creative and production groups of students for diploma (diploma) film (project).

Two more names have not been announced yet, coming from Moscow film schools.

The conference is held within the framework of the international student film festival Piterkit, that is part of a huge Cultural Forum in wonderful St.Petersburg-

The photo is from the 2016 conference… The two presenters from the Danish Film Institute Liselotte Michelsen and Lisbeth Juhl Sibbesen and a technician working on getting the computer working, with the moderator telling the audience that everything will be ok in a minute, which it was, just check the youtube link above. 

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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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