DOC Meeting Argentina/ 3

Stories, stories, stories… a pitching forum like this in Argentina is in a way one long learning process for someone from the North, who has some, but still a pretty limited knowledge about Latin American history, art and culture, religion, social and political conditions. This learning process goes of course also for the panelists from Europe, who for themselves and their audience asked about a context or a universal perspective when responding to the pitches. There are films that have a universal appeal and there are films that are local – and if you say ”local” about Latin America… there is a huge market potential.

There were projects about tango, carnival in Brasil and salsa in Colombia – projects that subject-wise had some fine starting points, but then on the other side had to struggle with the many other films made about the same themes. They had to stress the difference in approach, and they did. While a very fine film clip about the recently deseased Argentinian writer Ernesto Sábato (photo), based on material shot by the director Juan Pablo Lacroze in 1995, was discussed in the panel. Austrian Frans Grabner from ORF asked the director for an introduction of the author, in the film, while Jordi Ambros from TV3 expressed that the great material should keep its strong cinematic structure. To be added – Sábato is translated into many languages, and of course he is more known in Spain than in Austria.

The same looking for a European link was the case for a film about the charismatic bishop Jerónimo Podestá. The director Miguel Mato and his script writer Eduardo Spagnuolo showed amazing archive material with Podestá, who was part of the liberation theology movement and with him and his Clelia, ”his love and guide”. How to put the story about the controversial bishop into a context that works for a European audience?

Easier with the beautiful story about Inés, presented by Colombian Luisa Sossa, a film about her great grandmother, who had 20 children (!) and a violent husband. Ines wrote her diaries in a textbook and the director wants to let her fine words lead the story about a woman and her family.

In many cases it was obvious that projects divided the panel into a Latin American relevance and a European – with the supplement of a Chinese tv investor.

Having said so there were definitely stories that appealed to both sides of the ocean – see below.

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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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