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Jorge Yetano writes: I was reading the posts from Louise Rosen and Mikael Opstrup, and I must say, I have been reflecting on the subject myself for some time now, like most of us, just trying to guess which way things are going to develop, so I can’t help myself commenting. Many problems have been pointed out, the most decisive are: the drastic reduction of TV funding and the saturation of the market, yes, but I also sense other signs. This is more or less how I see it:  talent is now everywhere, where somebody can buy a cheap, tiny, high-performance camera. Cheap tiny high-performance cameras do not make good documentaries, but in talented hands, these cameras will become story-telling devices, and these devices are now in the hands of thousands. That is a fact, and it means there is no longer a centre or a direction that stories from all over the world will take. They just apperar, it is the urge to tell the story going on around you, if you live in a country with poverty, armed conflict or other kinds of trouble, including everyday life. People are telling their own stories, you can see it on the internet: there is no need anymore to go to, say, Venezuela for a documentary if there are cameras in talented hands telling the story in Venezuela. If you want stories you just need the right venues to find them (Storydoc (www.storydoc.gr) was an example). So all of this gives me a feeling (only a feeling) that we are heading towards an “ecology” of documentary. Cameras in talented hands will tell the stories that are around them: local or very local issues, low budgets and deep knowledge of the reality to be filmed (specialization), will be the normal conditions. These stories, if well made, will have a universal sense. Surely talent and storytelling will remain the keys to successful films but the art will become somewhat more like a handicraft if you wish. It actually does sound a little like going back to the origins, but hopefully there will always be a place for bigger documentary productions.

Jorge Yetano is an independent film-maker and producer, based in Zaragoza, Spain, who is currently working, along with his brother Miguel, on the feature-length documentary ON THE SHORE, a visual essay on the origin of summer holidays on the spanish mediterranean coast and it’s consequences in present time. Photo from the production.

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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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