Dana Budisavljević: Family Meals

Full cinema, festive atmosphere, premiere of the long awaited film by Dana Budisavljević, Croatian director and producer, and one of the founders of ZagrebDox at the time where she was working with Nenad Puhovski at Factum that stands behind the festival.

Yes, there was a family feeling to frame a film that totally lived up to the expectations that we were many who had. It was fun, it had wonderful characters, Dana’s mother, father and brother, and it had a structure where the film was growing in strength and perspective. From, in the beginning. conveying a sometimes a bit embarrassing conversation piece, where Dana is asking her parents why they reacted like they did many years ago, when she told them that she was gay. To a much broader picture of a family that was split up, with members who all had their secrets that they kept for themselves. Which were slowly being revealed, at least some of them as the film goes along. The character of the brother, shy, introvert and a bit enigmatic in the beginning, becomes more and more significant as you as spectator discovers the gap that has been, and probably still is, between him and the sister Dana. And for someone who is 60+ it is also a film about generations. He does not say so directly but I have no difficulties in understanding the father, who seems to not understand why everything has to be discussed, as the daughter communicates. All on the table, but why?

It is not a Bergmanian film, it comes from a different cultural background, it has humour and it stays at the dinner and lunch tables, and in the kitchen, offering its audience loads of identification points, making you leave the cinema with a smile and pretty hungry after all that food for thought!

Croatia, 2012, 50 mins.



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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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