DocsBarcelona: When Directors Meet the Audience

Aribau Club Cinemas in Barcelona. Two cinema halls, one bigger than the other. The home of DocsBarcelona for four days, yesterday the first where I had the privilege to introduce and moderate three films in the competitive Panorama section. With Pol Roig as responsible for the running of the screenings.

First Polish “Over the Limit” by Marta Prus ( with half an hour talk afterwards, where the young director told, how she found her characters, how she got permission to shoot, how she filmed for one year and edited for one year, how she wanted the film to look like a feature film, how she as director had to make production decisions as well and of course many words about the trio of women in the film, Margarita the gymnast and the two coaches Irina and Amina.

Second Syrian “Of Fathers and Sons” by Talal Derki ( the director who was back in Barcelona, where he was in 2014 with “Return to Homs”, that got the first prize at the festival. I asked him how it was to be “playing the role of a war photographer”, an observer, who comes into this mad world of jihadism and refrains from discussing the issues being brought up by the militant father. He explained his relationship to Osama, one of the sons, Ayman, being the other. The reception of the film, measured by the applause, was considerable, an understatement…

Third Greek “The Dolphin Man” by Lefteris Charitos, a film about the legendary Jacques Mayol, his life, his record breaking diving down to 100 meters, his glamorous life with many women in his life, and yet his loneliness, told through archive material, interviews with his daughter and son and amazing underwater camerawork by Stelios Apostolopoulos, in a film that is multilayered and dealing with philosophical and existential questions. Charitos answered all kind of questions from the audience, including those about his suicide in his house on the island of Elba.

All three films had a good audience, the photo shows the line of people waiting to get in to watch “The Dolphin Man”.

And all three films have a second run.

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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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