DocsBarcelona 2018

DocsBarcelona has existed for more than 20 years. As an industry event, a market, where documentary projects are developed and pitched, where professionals meet to exchange ideas and push films further.

The DocsBarcelona as a festival, however, started small scale in 2007, getting growing to be what it is today with 40 films, competitions, an official Panorama section, a section called Latitude (”a selection of the best documentaries made in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America”), a section called ”What the Doc” for ”the most radical and innovative films of the current documentary scene..” Plus special sections and Doc-U, films made by local universities.

The selection is great, hmm – I can say so as I took part. But having films in

the Panorama section like ”Bobbi Jene” by Elvira Lind, ”Dolphin Man” by Lefteris Charitos, ”Miss Kiet’s Children” by Petra and Peter Lataster, ”Of Fathers and Sons” by Talal Derki, ”Ouga Girls” by Theresa Traore-Dahlberg, ”Over the Limit” (PHOTO) by Marta Prus, ”The Distant Barking of Dogs” by Simon Lereng Wilmont and ”Wonderful Losers” by Arunas Matelis to mention 8 of the 16 in the main competition witness not only the diversity in the program but also the high standard of European documentary today. Most of these films have had strong marks on

BUT DocsBarcelona has also an eye for films spoken in Spanish or Catalan language. Two of the winning titles from previous editions carry the author name, Maite Alberti. This year there is a gem In the Panorama section, ”El Espanto” by Martin Benchimol and Pablo Aparo, here is a clip from the description: … In a remote village in Argentina, home-made cures replace traditional medicine. Every ailment is treated by neighbours except “El Espanto”, a rare disease that affects women and can only be cured with the mysterious abilities of a peculiar old man from the outskirts of town, whom no husband wants to see visiting their wife…

Not to forget the absolutely lovely covent film ”Hasta Manana, si Dios quiere” by Ainara Vera. There is so much love and joy in this film about Franciscan sisters and their daily life. And the film from Uruguay, ”La Flor de la Vida”, by Claudia Abend and Adriana Loeff: ”After five decades of marriage, Aldo and Gabriella are going through a crisis and begin to wonder why they continue together. Their story, narrated with humour, distance and scepticism, tender and ironic all at once, along with that of other testimonies in their eighties, compels us to face the inevitable question: is love everlasting?”

The titles mentioned are in original language, yet all films are with English subtitles.

From the ”What the Doc!” section of five films – Milo Rau’s ”The Congo Tribunal” is an amazing mix of documentary film and documentary theatre giving the audience a chance to dig into the ever complex situation in the suffering country. Portuguese Sergio Tréfaut is back in Barcelona with his aesthetically challenging ”Treblinka” shot by super cameraman Joao Ribeiro – and don’t miss the masterpiece by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski ”The Prince and the Dybbuk”.

The festival takes place from May 16 till 27.

I will be there to report, from the industry sections as well but not a word about the Champions League final, but that’s another story…


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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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