Documentary and Trains

… is a genre in itself and perfect for film, as trains are movements from one place to another, a change in time or destiny, an escape from something or a journey to a better life, or a trip to the one and only. Or trains are there to bring letters to the rich and letters to the poor… as it sounds from Auden’s poem in the classic of all train doc classics, ”Night Mail” by Basil Wright and Harry Watt, 1936.

The British Transport Commission – together with the British Film Institute – has published a unique collection of its films over a period of 30 years from 1950 and ”provides a unique insight into the changing social history of Britain”. 125 films, 18 dvd’s, 38 hours. In the promotion it is said that this is a ”must for transport and (British) film-making enthusiasts alike”.

Thematically organised, one of the dvd’s carries the title, ”The Art of Travel” – isn’t it what documentaries can make us do – travel in time and human life conditions?

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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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