CPH:DOX: Morning With Filmmakers

“Dialogues on Craft” is the title of four morning sessions at the CPH:DOX in the Charlottenborg Kunsthal, that is turned into a cinema during the festival. 90 minutes per session. With Wendy Mitchell as moderator. I attended the first one, which was very interesting because of the well thought dramaturgy:

Two filmmakers on the stage, Estonian Anna Hints who has made “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” and Chilean Maite Alberdi, whose “The Eternal Memory” was praised the other day on this site (http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/5116/).

Introduction by the moderator, a few questions to have the filmmakers tell the audience about their films – I was surprised that we were very few who had seen both films out of a good audience, maybe 100.

And then the floor was given to the filmmakers. Maite Alberdi had chosen a clip from the Sauna film, Anna Hints a clip from the love story of Alberdi. The two films and directors were there because both go very close to vulnerable themes. 

For those of you who don’t know the Estonian film, here is the catalogue text from the Sundance Festival, where the film was awarded:

“Tucked in a lush green forest in southern Estonia, a group of women gather in the safe darkness of a smoke sauna to share their innermost thoughts and secrets. Enveloped by a warm, dense heat, they bare all to expel fears and shame trapped in their bodies and regain their strength.” 

And “The Eternal Memory”, also a Sundance winner, is ”an intimate account of a woman’s deep love for her husband, who is slowly losing his memory.”

The directors had good questions to each other; Anna Hints explained the dilemma she had when she had decided not to show the faces of the women, and then one said but I want my face to be shown. She found a solution that works so fine as she becomes the one, who reacts to the stories being told. Beautifully shot is the Sauna Sisterhood film and as Maite Alberdi said so well: In the beginning I was looking at the bodies but then I quickly started to feel comfortable and also listened to the stories… let me add that the film has not only strong stories but also great anecdotes full of humor. Like in the clip from Maite Alberdi’s film, where Augusto is suffering enormously, “help me” he says to his wife in the scene that is followed by another scene where he is dancing to a melody!

I had to leave before the end of this fine session going to Stærekassen, the small stage of the Royal Theatre, where 8 projects from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbadjan, Belarus and Ukraine were pitched. Also here lots of people, many taking notes before meetings that are held tomorrow.

Still: cph:dox

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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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