DocsBarcelona Films Meet Audience

… and directors inform and answer questions after the screenings. The heart of a festival, is it not, when the filmmakers get the chance to have feedback from the viewers, who have enjoyed their work on a big screen, vice versa. The triangle: film, audience, filmmaker.

I attended three of these meetings yesterday. Louie Palu (and Devin Gallagher) showed and commented on his ”hell on earth” (my remark) documentary ”Kandahar Journals”, that have several layers: the diary reflections of the photographer Louie Palu, who has photographed and filmed everything himself, the information given about the geography of Kandahar, the almost unbearable photos and images of dead people, including the body parts of a suicide bomber… It stays in your mind this film as does the one by Friedrich Moser, ”A Good American”, that features the most sympathetic man you can think of, Bill Binney, and his lost fight with the NSA, that did not want to adapt his surveillance program that could have prevented the 9/11 to happen. Everything has a structure, says Binney, and the film has indeed one, a form has been chosen, one could almost say designed to convey this scandalous story. I had time to go to the Q&A of ”Daniel’s World” by Veronika Lišková, who gave the audience in a full cinema the background for her sensitive film about a paedophile, who has come out of the closet, so to say. The reaction from the Barcelona audience was very positive, a Brazilian filmmaker wanted to take the film to her country, that’s how a festival should work.

A couple of people I meet: Serge Tréfaut, Portuguese director, who just got an award in his home country for his ”Treblinka”, a hybrid film of great beauty, longing to see it on a big screen. And Arunas Matelis and his wife Alge, who were at the speed meetings with their ”Gladiators. A Different World”, a true international coproduction as it is about the bicycle riders of Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. With a Spanish coproducer, Matelis is now planning to get hold of the star Alberto Contador.

Today films and a masterclass with three truly international, award-winning directors: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (”Sonita”), Brian Hill (”City of Dreams”) and Sean McAllister (”A Syrian Love Story”). ”Intervention or Observation”, the catalogue outlines as the theme. The answer is already given, the three of them intervene, so that is what is to be discussed at La Pedrera today at 5.30pm. How, why, with which consequences? Please come to Gaudi’s beautiful place! And then films and more films, hopefully with as many spectators as yesterday.

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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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