Docu Days Audience Behaviour

I dare the risk of being called a grumpy old man, but why the f… does the audience, quite a good part of it, here in Kiev, at the Docu Days festival, behave so disrespectful to the films being screened, and to those of us, who sit down from the beginning of the screening to concentrate and have a cinematic experience. For days I have been disturbed by members of the audience, who arrive in the middle of the film and insist to have a seat in the middle of the row with the consequence that many have to stand up, blocking the view of others, or the other way around, people leaving the film before the end making a lot of noise.

I know the screenings are for free, it is very good cultural policy, and I love the atmosphere here, professional introductions and q & a’s, big audience, many behave excellently, and it is a good selection of films including the seven in the Docu/Life competition where I am in the jury, more about that later.

Very simple: You produce a sign to put on the doors into the cinemas saying ”no entrance during the screenings”, and you put some doormen/women to talk loud if the sign is not respected. The cell phones being used during the screenings, texts messages being sent – well, that is all over, that battle is lost, I am afraid.

Photo: Monk from “Burma vj” appealing for Respect for the films!

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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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