The Finnish documentary festival celebrates Broomfield and Leacock. It points in the direction of a selection policy that respects the old masters, which is furthermore stressed by the latest news from festival director Erkko Lyytinen on the dokblog of YLE. 3 strong Eastern European films by masters have been taken for screening in Helsinki January 20-25: ”Holunderblüte” by Volker Koepp, ”Perpetual Rehearsal” by Herz Frank and ”Low Level Flight” by Jan Sikl.

The film of Volker Koepp has been reviewed on filmkommentaren – in Danish language – by colleague Allan Berg, here follows a clip from the DOX report I wrote: … Volker Koepp, a true observational documentarian, who has given us brilliant films since the 70’es. He knows how to approach and talk to people, can make them trust him and make them open their hearts and minds. Like it happened in the extraordinary series of documentaries he made from the German town Wittstock and like it happens in this case with ”Elder Blossom” that is shot in another far away corner Europe: Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg, where he goes to the countryside to see children who live more or less on their own, as their parents are dead or dead drunk most of the time. The average life age in Kaliningrad: 55 years.

I saw the film of Herz Frank this summer, recommended it to the Leipzig Festival that did not take it. 4 lines about this film: … the director warm-hearted and intelligently invites the viewer into the magic world of theatre. 10 years of video diaries has been put together by Frank from his meeting with the charismatic theatre director Yevgenij Arye from the Gesher Theatre in Tel Aviv.

Finally a salute for taking the Czech film of Jan Sikl, ”Low Level Flight”, a beautiful love story based exclusively on archive material, one of many parts of the film projects series Private Century.

Still: Koepp: “Holunderblüte”

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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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