DocsBarcelona 2013/ 6

As programmer for a festival it is always a good idea, I would almost say it is an obligation, to go and see the films you selected on a big screen and with an audience. It is no secret that most films are selected on the basis of a computer screening… will it work on the big screen?

I did the test on three occasions, two of them with the director or producer present.

Dan Geva’s ”Noise” (photo) did indeed and it was a big inspiration to listen to the Israeli director’s speech after the screening, where he took the subject of the film and its comedy elements to a serious reflection on what it means to be a filmmaker as well as a person in constant doubt of what it means to live, simply. A festival is there to create the meeting of a film and a filmmaker with the audience, and Geva gave us a fine insight to both the art and the craft of making documentaries. He referred to Flaherty, who set everything up, and to Grierson, who was there to send a message, as Geva does at the end of the film, where the filmmaker from his noisy location in Tel Aviv gently communicates via his outdoor loudspeakers: please a bit less noise!

Palestinian Khaled Jarrar’s ”Infiltrators” – without the presence of the director here in Barcelona – a film that I have followed from the sidelines, in workshops in Greece and in Ramallah, I can only say that this film about apartheid in Israel again made me shake my head in anger and sorrow, this is the world of today, how can we allow that human beings are being treated like this having to climb a wall or going through a tunnel of dirt or caressing the hand of your mother through a hole in the so-called separation wall. It is a film which in content and intensity is painful to watch, simply!

Producer Signe Byrge represented and presented ”The Act of Killing” in a brilliant way giving basic background information about this most talked about and praised documentary in the last year. It was the director’s cut that was shown at DocsBarcelona, 159 minutes, and seeing it on a big screen with almost 200 people makes a difference, of course. Signe Byrge talked about the screenings in Indonesia and stressed that the film is not a historical film about the killing of communists in the country in the mid 1960’es, it is a film about Indonesia today with the militant paramilitary groups still very much present and active.

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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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