I knew it from visits to Kiev, the film project ”Expedition 49”, presented by director Alisa Kovalenko and producer Stéphane Siohan, with film and ArtdokFest festival director Vitalyi Mansky as ambassador recommending. But I had not seen the teaser they had produced especially for the CPH:DOX presentation. Absolutely great, 7 minutes of energy in images and a fine and personal voice-off by the director, motivating why she wants to make this adventurous documentary – adventurous as the five teenagers picked to go to the Himalayas with an old explorer are full of life and will, ”…in search of themselves, stuck in their bleeding little town, Zolote-4, Donbas, a shithole place shaken by the rumble of a lingering war with Russia and the haunting collapse of the coal mines…”. Very charming and dynamic presentation avoiding the usual pitch clichés of events like this: ”We are looking for funding blablabla”. Obvious that is, hope they will be succesful, the talent is, yes, obvious!

And of course I took a look at the pitch trailer of “Handheld”, which is a film about one of my heroes… read this text from the website of CPH:DOX: ”Pioneer of direct cinema, Albert Maysles redefined documentary film in practice and in meaning. With unfettered access to his entire filmography, personal archives, and never-before-seen footage, oldest daughter Rebekah will trace her father’s life.” It is especially the latter I look forward to see, the personal and not-seen-before as I am sure it will confirm the passion and curiosity of the Albert Maysles we have had the pleasure to meet in Denmark on several occasions. Old of age, young in spirit, I remember the tribute Jørgen Leth made to him at the European Film College in Denmark. Lovely, probably not filmed. In the clip there is a wonderful moment with Rolling Stones in the studio where bass guitarist Bill Wyman asks Maysles to leave… it’s disturbing to have you here!

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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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