DocsBarcelona 2013/ 2

In a week from now the thirteen first of 25 documentary film projects have been pitched on the first day of the pitching part of the 16th edition of DocsBarcelona. 12 others will follow the day after. The pitching filmmakers have done their best to draw attention to their project in a room, where observers will guarantee for a good atmosphere with support to those talking and showing their teasers of 3 minutes. The pitchers, most often director and producer, have 7 minutes to present and additionally the same time to answer the questions raised by the panel. 14 commissioning editors and distributors will be sitting around the table, accompanied by the equivalent number of other professionals, who buy or show or invest in documentaries. The latter sit on a so-called Row 0 and will be called upon, when a project falls within their interest area.

No reason to hide that there is a crisis in the financing of creative documentaries in most countries when it comes to the role of the public broadcasters, nevertheless some deals will for sure be made in Barcelona, or let’s say at least some contacts will be made that will result in helping the filmmakers to realise their projects. The organisers of DocsBarcelona are proud to have a strong range of tv channels represented – like local TVC, Spanish TVE, Israeli Yes TV, Dutch AVRO, BBC, arte France, arte/ZDF, American POV, SVT Sweden, YLE Finland – and sales agents and distributors like Autlook, Cat&Docs, Taskovski Films, Echo Bridge Entertainment, Java Films – and many others like idfa and the Mexican doc festival DOCSDF.

Most important, however, are the filmmakers, who come with their proposals to make documentaries for a local and international audience. I can’t mention them all, visit the website, link below, but I am happy that there will be 4 from Latin America as well as many stories that deal with what happens in that part of the world. Many young filmmakers have chosen this pitching forum as the first step into the market. But also experienced directors like Sergio Tréfaut from Portugal, Swedish Fredrik Gertten, Barcelona based Denis Delestrac and Albert Solé, as well as Germany-based German Kral and Paula Rodriguez have been chosen to perform.

Perform… yes, there is a show element to a pitching forum, and I think there should be at such a fest for the the documentary genre – but don’t forget that the filmmakers come there with strong thoughts and the intention to seek help to further their proposal. They will be welcomed with warmth and respect.

Photo: German Kral’s El Ultimo Aplauso – prize winner at previous edition of DocsBarcelona.

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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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