Documentary Campus 1

I am in Crete for a session of the Documentary (formerly Discovery) Campus. I run into Vardan Hovhannisyan with whom I have spent many fine moments around the films that he was/is producing or directing for his company in Jerevan, Armenia. With a good deal of charm and charisma, this Armenian filmmaker has established himself as a known, respected and colourful person in the documentary scene. His film “A Story about People in War and peace” went all over, won prizes – and the director travelled with the film to meet the audience and to understand the documentary market structure. I met him at Discovery Campus and again at Ex Oriente in 2007 where he with his director and colleague Inna Sahakyan presented and developed  “The Last Tightrope Dancers in Europe” that is now in post-production. This film project was pitched at the East European Forum  2007 and later at the idfa Forum, but the real strong funding came not until this year from the ITVS and NHK. At a point when 80% of the film was shot!  Here is the description of the film, that is also supported by YLE, SVT, TVP, ETV (Estonia), among others, and which is targeted for a premiere this coming autumn:

Zhora (76) and Knyaz (77) were once the most celebrated masters of tightrope dancing in Armenia. Today, they are the only surviving performers who can keep this ancient art alive against the current of contemporary society. Having been bitter rivals throughout their lives, a common objective has finally brought them together: to train the only student of tightrope dancing left in the country. Hovsep, a sixteen year old orphan boy, has to decide whether or not to accept the role of the last tightrope dancer in Armenia, in a society that has abandoned both him and the art of tightrope dancing.

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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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