Documentaries at Moscow Film Festival

Ten days after the Doker International Documentary Festival ( ended, there are more documentaries to enjoy for the Moscow audience. Where the Doker festival is sailing under the flag of being independent, the official Moscow Film Festival operates (quoted from website)

“with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Government and the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow.” The festival has existed for 41 years, “for many years the President of the MIFF has been the Russian director and actor Nikita Mikhalkov”, it is a Red Carpet festival, that for the seventh year has included documentaries in a

competition section, having also a section called “Free Thought”. The two persons who have fought to get the documentaries to be part of the program, now a respected and well visited one, are Sergey Miroshnichenko and Grigory Libergal.

I had a beer with Grigory Libergal, when in Moscow for the Doker Festival and he revealed some of the titles that he had found on travels and after examining the overwhelming amount of documentaries submitted for consideration. He also said that he had watched 110 Russian documentaries so “something is happening but the overall quality is not good enough”.   

In the competition that consists of seven films you find Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s “Earth”, that closed the Magnificent7 Festival in Belgrade the other day and three films that illustrate the true enthusiasm that Grigory Libergal has for films from the Nordic countries:

“Men’s Room” from Norway by Petter Sommer and Jo Vemund Svendsen, Danish production “Patrimonium” by Swedish Carl Olsson and “Winter’s Yearning” (“Håbets Ø”) (PHOTO), a Norwegian, Greeenlandic, Danish coproduction by Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog, which was reviewed by Allan Berg on this site, in Danish and with an English synopsis summary.

In the “Free Thought” you find Danish Mads Brügger’s “Cold Case Hammarskjöld”. Libergal is a big fan of the Danish director (Danish language review who earlier had big success at the festival with his “The Ambassador” (, Nicolas Philibert’s “Each and Every Moment” – and of course – as everywhere – “Honeyland” by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska (

AND the closing film of the festival in Moscow, with the possible participation of the protagonist, if his health allows it, is “Meeting Gorbachev” by Werner Herzog and André Singer, 

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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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