Readers of will know that I consider the international documentary festival in the capital of Portugal as one of the leading when it comes to quality in selection and side programme policy.

The programme for 2009, the festival takes place October 15-25, advertises a tribute to Jonas Mekas, a section with ”love stories” and a focus on Balkans. The latter being a great idea as this is indeed a region where innovative documentary storytelling reigns in these years.

Talking about innovation – this is what Jonas Mekas has contributed to in his long career. Here is the text from the site of the festival:

Jonas Mekas is known as the mentor of North American avant-garde cinema.
Born in 1922 in a small village of Lithuania, he studied in Vienna and settled himself in the United States after World War II. Two weeks after his arrival in New York, he bought a camera and started a very personal film journey. He had collaborations with Andy Warhol, Alan Ginsberg, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Salvador Dali among other personalities. Titles like Lost, Lost, Lost (1975); Reminiscences of a Voyage to Lithuania (1972) and As I was Moving Ahead, Occasionally I saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2001) were screened at the main film institutes and world Museums. Jonas Mekas it is also a writer and art exhibitions curator. He will give a masterclass at doclisboa and he will discuss some of his films with the audience.

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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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