DocsBarcelona Opening 2020

Strange feeling… DocsBarcelona opened last night, online, with the director of it all, Joan Gonzalez (the man in the middle, as toastmaster) calling upon the Head of Program and the Head of Industry to come with comments on what is going to happen. Online. I talked from our garden house in Copenhagen, rain outside – oh, I would have loved to be in Barcelona because of Barcelona, the weather, 25 degrees, the atmosphere and all the good friends in and outside the festival team, and film directors. To sit in a full cinema hall and enjoy.

But… I enjoyed the informal and professional opening, produced by Helena Alabart and her team including filmmaker Eric Motjer as technical boss. Not only the middle aged men above were on screen, Helena was also there as was Salima Jirari, who is running the amazing Documentary of the Month distribution in the empire that Joan Gonzalez has built. Go to and you will see what I mean. And there you can see the opening ceremony with clips from the films chosen. An English subtitled version is on its way.

Cut to a quote from Gonzalez from yesterday, interview in Cineuropa, 19.5.20:


”There’s no substitute for the big-screen experience, but as history has placed us in this unique situation and we have a plan B – because technology enables us to have one – let’s make the most of it. But let’s not leave a void, and next year we’ll be straight back in the cinemas. I think that the digital world is going to change something: for example, this year, in our industry section, the number of professionals who will be looking for films to support has grown by 50% because it is happening online. That’s why the experience of this edition of DocsBarcelona is going to be very interesting – there will be some elements of it that we’ll keep and others that we’ll leave to one side, I’m sure.”

The festival opening completed, the audience was invited to watch the opening film, “Letter from Masanjia” by Canadian director Leon Lee, screened on TV3, prime time…

It was watched by 264.853! A scoop with the collaboration with the public broadcaster in Catalunya – and a great start on the festival. The online festival is available for people in Spain. Enjoy!

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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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