Docudays UA: A Unique Festival

Early monday morning. We arrive to the modern airport of Kiev, Borispil, to go back to Copenhagen after far too short a stay but with intense days at the Docudays UA festival. A familiar face meets us at the check in, Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian helicopter pilot, who was recently sentenced to more than 20 years of prison and who has been hungerstriking in the Russian prison, where she is.

The political reality is strongly present at the festival that goes on until April 1st. In the programme newspaper one headline introduces a new section in the festival, Ukrainian documentaries, as ”Docu in Warland”, and in the same newspaper you can find several daily discussions, conferences and masterclasses that raises political and human right issues.

The festival is a voice for a free and democratic Ukraine at a time of war. And documentaries play a role.

… not only in Kiev during the festival but all year round. Let me mention some initiatives and the connected websites.

an online cinema with ”films created by the Docudays UA team with the support of various NGO’s”. Access to the site also for us outside Ukraine.

an amazing initiative for showing Ukrainian documentaries around Europe with discussions on the films and with the directors present. On the site there are teasers from the films included and information about the next stops: ATHENS, GREECE: MAY, 2016, MILAN, ITALY: JUNE, 2016, HAMBURG, GERMANY, SEPTEMBER, 2016, SPAIN: AUTUMN, 2016.

the distribution of films around Ukraine. “In 2015 the festival visited 254 cities, towns and villages in 23 regions, including Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as Crimea, and gathered an audience of 108.000 viewers and participants.”

On top of that English newspaper Guardian, together with British Council and the festival has organized “a national contest of documentary projects in 2015-16”. 97 projects applied to “Guardian Goes Ukraine”, there will be 3 winners, which will be screened for the 2 million subscribers of the newspaper, and at the 2014 Docudays festival.

And of course you should follow the constant documentary reporting done by the festival team on







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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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