DocsBarcelona Books Wine Alentejo Messi

A very special day at the festival! First step was a visit to the fabulous Libreria Altaïr where ”el vermut de los sábados” this weekend was dedicated to a conversation with the DocsBarcelona directors of ”The Final Stretch” (Oscar Perez), ”Bikes vs. Cars” (Fredrik Gertten), ”Beaverland” (Nicolas Molina & Antonio Luco) and ”Alentejo, Alentejo” (Sergio Tréfaut), followed by an informal drink at a place full of books with a nice small café connected. Altaïr is also an online travel magazine published six times per year.

Next stop was another one of festival director Joan Gonzalez (photo) crazy ideas: Why not combine ”Docs & Wine”, the title of a rendez-vous in a restaurant, where clips from five films were shown to be matched with the tasting of five different wines – what wine would be the best for that wine etc. Joyful event, indeed. The warm and sweet film ”Tea Time” goes with a Moscatell from Catalunya del Nord, right?

And then the most moving moment so far in a festival that has several full houses – this time for the film of Sergio Tréfaut ”Alentejo, Alentejo” that I wrote about in August 2014, a quote: …wonderful emotional journey into the history of ”cante”, its roots, its connection to the farming and cooking culture (you see how a bread soup is made, and how bread is baked and red wine is enjoyed) you are invited to enjoy the ”cante” singing by primarily male choirs constituted by Men with furrowed faces and well-fed stomachs, who make the most beautiful performances…

When the end credits of the film were running a local Catalan choir in white shirts went down to sing in front of the screen and director Tréfaut, who knew nothing. Several people in the audience stood up and joined the singing of revolutionary songs including the word ”companeros”. Yes, an initiative like this belongs to the celebration of documentary Cinema and in this case Sergio Tréfaut and his marvellous work!

Final step of an eventful day in a Barcelona city that was full of Basque football fans with red and white shirts and berets. It was said that 60.000 came to support the Athletic Bilbao playing against FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou. I watched the match at the home of Jordi Ambros, commissioning editor of TV3 Catalanya and a football connaisseur – and up we got three times to hug and celebrate the 3-1 to Barca with a goal from Messi to 1-0 that will go into football history. The match between the two clubs from Catalunya and the Basque country was equally a political manifestion. With the king Felipe at the stadium – the match was the final of Copa del Rey (The King’s Cup) – the supporters booed when the Spanish anthem was played with all the players lined up stone-faced and – as always on Camp Nou – you could hear the shouting of ”independencia” at the 17th minute of the match. The Spanish government in Madrid has already formulated a formal complaint letter to the Catalan government for the disrespect demonstrated. ”We will get our independance”, said Jordi Ambros to me on the way down to get a taxi after a memorable evening with him and his wife in the Gracia district.



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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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