DOKLeipzig: Panorama

”DOK Leipzig is opening a window on the world of Central and Eastern European cinema. The short and feature-length works presented here span the range from the socialist past through the times of upheaval to the present – personal, funny, dramatic, existential, lyrical or enigmatic, but always original and engaging.” Words from the site of the festival that started yesterday and runs until October 15. A focus of the festival has always been a look to the East – actually it was part of the East, I remember being there at the first edition “Nach der Wende” 1989/1990 together with my friend Andreas Steinmann and many thought that this would be the end of a festival that was very much run according to what was approved by the GDR government and cultural censorship. I remember that Danish documentary legend Jørgen Roos had made a film about Carl Nielsen, Danish composer, where a lot was shot in Israel… the film was selected because of its quality but the censorship went into action: No films from Israel!

Andreas and I had to hire a car to get home from the festival as the new situation – one united Germany also brought a train strike…

Back to 2023 and the program of 8 films in the Panorama, where I look forward to see Marianna Kaat’s “The Last Relic” described like this on the site: “Insights into the Russian opposition before the war in Ukraine. In the Yekaterinburg metropolis, only a few take to the streets against Putin. There is a lack of support – but not of courage.” Danish Jesper Osmund is the editor and talked enthusiastically about the collaboration with the Estonian documentary veteran at a workshop in Skopje this August.

And of course the beautiful, personal essay “Selfportrait Along the Borderline” by Georgian Anna Dziapsh-ipa is there, original in narration, full of humour, a winner at festivals that appreciate the art of documentary. (Photo).

Wish I was there, luckily I can watch several of the films from my armchair here in Copenhagen.
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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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