Doc People at DocPoint

Lovely to meet documentary colleagues in Helsinki at the DocPoint. You get to talk private matters, food and drinks – and documentaries. Have you seen… ah, you should see… what is your next destination… Already when arriving in the airport I could hug Artchil Khetagouri and Ileana Stanculescu, who are in charge of the CinéDoc-Tbilisi ( in May. I can warmly recommend the festival in the wonderful city with the wonderful cuisine and wine and chacha.

At my age, being around for decades you are happy, when you remember the good old times, where television editors could take , and took risks. And there she was, outside the Savoy Theatre, Eila Werning, who worked for YLE, the Finnish broadcasting company, and who very often at pitching sessions said ”I don’t know where to put it (slot-wise) but I love your project, so I will take it and find a way”. A decision maker, where most of those editors who go to IDFA and other sessions can not make a decision but have to pitch to several other people placed further up in the system. Eila Werning told me that she during xmas time had used a recipe, that she had been given by my wife many many years ago at a documentary event in Skopje. Werning does not live in Helsinki but had come for the festival and had just seen ”Putin’s Witnesses” by Vitalyi Mansky, who came to say hello. I asked him if he was about to break the record of festivals for his film… So far 60 festivals, he said, crazy, but just think what that means in terms of audience! Bravo!

I walked to some screenings with Latvian Zane Balcus, who is film museum director and took part in the Baltic Sea Forum 2018. She is a true film lover and film critic and she promised me to make a follow up on the great story ( on the finding of the director’s cut version of Uldis Brauns masterpiece ”235.000.000” from 1967. A film that, when a copy is ready, deserves to be at festivals all over.

Yes, film history, and again it was a pleasure to attend Helena Trestikova’s masterclass. As at IDFA 2018 she is the honorary guest of the DocPoint festival. And as usual she was 100% prepared, showing clips from her long-term observation films “René”, “Katka”, “Mallory” and “A Marriage Story”. From the latter clips were shown from first day of shooting, 20 years later and 35 years later. Marvellous. She talked about ethics, the relationship between director and protagonist – the latter with a fantastic dialogue clip from “Rene”. It was a fine masterclass with a small: But the moderator should be told to speak louder and more clear, and address the audience…

That’s all for now. Three more Finnish screenings and I will tell you which Finnish documentary I think is the best one this year.

Photo: Helena Trestikova.

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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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