DocuNotes from a Copenhagen Garden

It’s been a week since I posted on this site. My Mac needed a new battery. But in between the privileged isolation in our garden in Copenhagen with lovely weather and visit of the grandchildren before they today returned to school (which, alas, means that we can’t see them for a long while as they could be surrounded by potential corona virus carriers), we have been watching the four part series on „Hillary”, well made and actually quite interesting to see what the political power game did to a young enthusiastic and engaged lawyer, who wanted especially gender equality change to happen. 

And we have enjoyed Danish icon Jørgen Leth, 83 years in upcoming June, assisted by his son Asger, read Danish poems from his isolation place in Dominican Republic. Every day he has picked poems by Danish poets he likes, now for almost 30 days, totally impressive to see this lovely, always committed artist bringing poetry to us Danes – thousands are watching and listening – to be found on the Facebook page of Jørgen Leth. His new film, „I Walk”, premiered at IDFA 2019, still waits for the cinemas to open in Denmark.

Online possibilities… every day FB friends offer their films to be seen. Producers, directors, national film institutes and festivals of course. Amazing. CPH:DOX Online is still open until the end of this month, so happy to know that the festival managed to sell so many tickets – last number announced was 65.000 – DocuDays in Kiev starts in a few days, online, and the program is as always very strong – and the Nyon festival Visions du Réel goes on now, online, for the audience. Some films can be watched outside Switzerland, some on specific days, some are available only in Switzerland. The festival celebrates the work of Petra Costa, Peter Mettler and Claire Denis with retrospectives and masterclasses. I saw „A Horse has more Blood than a Human” and „We are Russia”, both good political documentaries, the latter about young supporters of the opposition leader Navalny, who was not allowed to run for president. More reportage than creative documentary. I have been granted a press accreditation that gives me access to a Media Library from April 25. I plan to be looking for short films, a priority of the festival.

A week ago there were almost no leaves on the “Documentary Tree” as I call it – I got it as a gift from IDF (Institute of Documentary Films), when I stopped after 8 years as Head of Studies at their Ex Oriente. And now it flourishes. As does the documentary… I long for the big screen, for the theatrical and the festival shows of the documentaries but until then the online initiatives being offered are more than welcome. Use them !

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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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