Docudays: Children

What kind of world do we leave for our children? A banal and pathetic question maybe. But it came to my mind this morning, when I attended the Warscape pitching in Kiev at the Docu/Pro section of Docudays. 6 projects from around 25 were selected – ”an international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians.”

In ”84” by cameraman Volodimir Yermakov, his first film as a director, to be 10-15 mins. long, children are playing in the city of Sloviansk, that was occupied by rebels for 84 days. The final scene of the lyrical clip presented by the director shows children ”playing funeral”. Heartbreaking, makes you think.

In the Georgian ”The Playground” by Ana Tsiminia and Esma Berikishvili children of Abkhazian refugees play among the ruins of a paper factory near the border between Georgia and Abkhazia chatting about where to go. Paris? The plays represent their social reality in what is going to be an observational documentary. Expectations are high after the director’s ”Biblioteka”.

The pitching this morning ended with the French/Ukrainian ”The New Life of Vitaly”, a film by director Vadim Moiseenko, produced by Marie Odile Gazin to be shot in small Krymske in the Luhansk region close to the frontline. Like small grown-ups the kids, with Vitaly as the main protagonist, talk about who is in war with whom, what foreign nationalities are there as soldiers, what the rebels took and destroyed, when they were there… They lost their childhood.

Photo: Ana Tsiminia and Esma Berikishvili preparing their pitch outside the venue of The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the sponsor of the workshop and the award for the best project.

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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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