Czech Docs… Coming Soon

We had to put it as the last film to be presented, ”In Mosul” by war photographer and cinematographer Jana Andert, who for 8 months was following the battle of Mosul with Golden Division, an elite Iraq squad. Jan Macola, who produced Mira Janek’s ”Normal Autistic Film”. With Tonicka Jankova as the editor the plan is to make a 70 minutes long documentary out of the 15 hours material, Jana Andert brought home. The 10 minutes presented at the Czech Docs… Coming Soon session at the Cervantes Institute here in Prague was very hard to watch: corpses, crying mothers, a small child heavily injured, explosions, constant tension. After the films from Aleppo and Homs here is another horror story from the crazy world we live in.

5 films were presented, four of them in post-production, one in

development, ”In the Name of Allah”, shot in Bosnia with Italian Francesco Montagner as director. The producer Pavla Janouskova Kubeckova from the company nutproducke showed some scenes from what will be a film that follows the three sons of a radical preacher, who is in jail right now and will be there for two years. The filming will continue until the father returns to the mountain area, where the family lives. I fell in love with the youngest son, 11 years old, who reflects on the situation with his father and on his future.

I was privileged to have meetings with the filmmakers behind the upcoming films, this year with a clear international approach. Martin Pav, director, and Zuzana Kucerova presented a film that takes us to Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, in the center of Nairobi, 300.000 live there. ”Kibera Stories”, working title, will be 80 minutes plus a tv version. Also that was a very promising presentation as was, indeed, ”Fugue”, that takes place in Buenos Aires at a psychiatric hospital, where Martin, composer and piano player was for four years. He is a wonderful character as proved through the three scenes shown by the director Artemio Benki and the producer Petra Oplatkova. The film will end with Martin performing his composition at El Borda. Potential for a great film.

One film dealt with Prague – 50 years ago, 1968. 21.8.1968 where the capital of Czechoslovakia was invaded by soldiers from the countries of the Warsaw Pact. One of them was the grand uncle of Anna Kryvenko, Ukrainian born director living in Prague. When he came home to Ukraine, he had changed completely. He took his own life. 80% archive material, amazing images of soldiers in the streets expressing ”what am I doing here”. (Photo from ”My Unknown Soldier”).

Today the filmmakers will have meetings with sales agents, tv people and festival programmers. Wish them good luck, there is a lot of talent in these upcoming documentaries in a country where 27 long documentaries were premiered in 2017!

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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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