Documentaries and Shorts for All Danes

It’s gonna be a bit personal/sentimental as I worked with Danish short films and documentaries for 20 years. At the Danish Statens Filmcentral, where the distribution on 16mm was huge to the whole non-theatrical sector – schools, community groups and assocaitions, high schools, universities and for children of course the kindergartens, but also art and culture houses, and libraries… Of course many of the films were shown on television, but – even if we around 1990 had 300.000 screenings organised at these places, the question was always from the individual viewer: Yes, but where can we see these fantastic documentaries that you talk about? We don’t have a 16mm projector at home…!

As of today, after we went from 16mm prints to VHS to dvd to internet streaming, the answer is easier, go to your computer – it is organised, NOW, by The Danish Film Institute, through (yes, they use the name of the film institution that existed from 1939 to the mid 1990’es where it was merged with The Danish Film Institute) Filmcentralen, that offers Danes to go online and find films they want to watch for free, or film links where they have to pay a bit on other platforms. On top of that the viewer gets information about the film and its director. The photo to the text is from the poster of the masterpiece by one of ”our” masters, Jon Bang Carlsen, ”Hotel of the Stars” from 1981, available for free, as are 12 of the films by this director, for three others from his hand there is a link to other streaming possibilities. That’s a treat!

300 films are available for free, links to many others, through this Filmcentralen, sorry it is not for non-Danish but why not pick up this idea? It’s cultural policy at its best!

There are of course many films that are not there yet, but it is an excellent start. Bravo! 

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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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