DocsBarcelona 2014/ 1

I am in Barcelona. The DocsBarcelona festival and its associated activities for professionals start today. I am in the Pulitzer Hotel next to Plaza de Catalunya, nice room with a look to a street wall covered by a photo of Andrés Iniesta. Yes, the midfielder of FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, a great player but, alas, also one from a team that did not win anything this year.

Talking about photos the symbolic logo of the 2014 festival – take a look at it – has provoked many and many different interpretations. Last night in the hotel restaurant two waitresses came up with two reactions that are pretty much linked. What comes into your mind when you look at this cover of the catalogue, I asked them.

Freedom, one said, slavery the other said, survival a third one at the table added.

Well, true it is that several of the films in the festival deal with the problems of the world today and the search for freedom: ”Return to Homs” by Talal Derki, ”Everyday Rebellion” by the Iranian/Austrian brothers Riahi, “Ai WeiWei – the Fake Case” by Andreas Johnsen and “Ciutat Morta” by Xavier Artigas, Xapo Ortega. I mention these four films which in very different ways deal with resistance against suppression from people in power and totalitarian authorities. The directors behind the four films will take part in a masterclass this coming Friday at the famous Gaudi building La Pedrera, 6pm, free entrance, entitled: “Documentary, a tool to change the world?”.

I am responsible for three rough cut sessions – as written on the website: Three documentaries will be presented privately to a selection of producers, directors, consultants, sales agents and distributors. The goal is to generate creative and constructive discussions that will favour the projects’ entry into the international market.

First one will be presented today: “Return” by Colombian director Juan Pablo Rios.

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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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