DocsBarcelona 2013/ 5

The 16th edition of the DocsBarcelona Pitching Forum ended yesterday. The level of the 25 presentations was high, the organisation was – as always – and as it should be – professional in a warm and generous atmosphere. And the panel’s reception of the pitched projects was friendly and constructive with lots of questions to be answered, primarily in follow-up meetings. There is a crisis for the financing of the film projects but there is definitely not a crisis for the creativity for documentary filmmaking, if you evaluate, what was pitched here in Barcelona.

Not surprising the issue orientated projects were the most appreciated by the tv editors around the table. The panel found Swedish Fredrik Gertten’s ”Bikes vs Cars – War Time” important. His simple logline goes like this: The bicycle, an amazing tool to change the world. Activists and cities all over the world are moving towards a new system. But will the economic powers allow it?

Also at DocsBarcelona, the more visual and personal film projects had a more difficult time as they do not fit to the way tv operates nowadays. They are maybe too slow or ”too artistic” as some editors put it. Experienced Sérgio Tréfaut presented a beautiful teaser of his work-in-progress ”Alentejo, Alentejo”, a ”journey into the Alentejo hot countryside region (South of Portugal) discovering Cante music and the life of its performers”, English Mark Aitken has 73 hours of material for ”Dead When I Got Here” (photo) from Mexico, about ”a man redeemed from 30 years of self-destruction”, shot in a mental asylum, that the man now manages, and Colombian Juan Pablo Rios showed his cinematic talent with a teaser that accompanied his ambition to tell a story called ”The Return” about a family of 9 sisters, their suffering and need to leave the town, they lived in, when the father took his own life. 45 years have passed, they return…

Awards were given at the end of the two days. The director of ”No es vigilia”, Hermes Paralluelo, from Barcelona, won the ”Best Iberian Pitch” a flight ticket, accommodation and a pass to pitch in Mexico at the Docs DF in October. The WAW Marketing Award (marketing help and consultancy) was given to ”The Challenge” about and with the controversial judge Baltasar Garzón. And access to the East European Forum in Prague next year in March was given to ”Art Killers” to be directed by Alam Raja.

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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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