DOK Leipzig 2008/1

Of course, you have to be careful when you take a quote from the press office of a festival. Especially as you have not been able to follow the festival intensely because of other obligations. But I went to the festival centre at the new museum every day, met directors and other guests who I knew and they had a good time and were generally happy with the programme. As were the expected-to-be-critical students of the Zelig documentary school in Bolzano. So here comes the quote:

”Crowded cinemas, many international filmmakers and industry guests, lively discussions and a fantastic atmosphere all over the place were characteristical for the 51st edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. … Festival director Claas Danielsen anticipates a slight decline of audience numbers compared with last year’s 50th anniversary of DOK Leipzig (31.000 viewers). Happily, the number of German and international industry visitors has proved to be stable: Altogether, 1.400 accredited visitors from 49 countries (1.450 in 2007) have come to Leipzig in order to make use of both the manifold film programme and the DOK Industry offers.”

It is amazing what my younger friend Claas Danielsen has achieved in the few years he has been director of the festival. He has changed the festival from being sleeping nach der Wende to a modern international meeting point of high quality. Even if I had suggested Baltic and other films to him and his selection group, and they were wrong in not taking more from my list (!), I was not disappointed with the films I had time to watch in the superb digital video library.

Photo: Claas Danielsen with Al Maysles (left)

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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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